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Estate of Murdock

Made-up Cases
32 Muc. 352 (1983)


Facts

Sarah Hayes Murdock and Arthur Murdock got married after each having children in a previous marriage. Arthur’s will left his entire estate to Sarah, with remainder going to the children of his first marriage. Likewise, Sarah’s will left her entire estate to Arthur, with remainder going to the children of her first marriage. Arthur and Sarah died in the same plane crash, and the nature of their wills raised the question of who died first in order to determine the distribution of their assets. Linden, who arrived on the scene about ten minutes after the crash first found Sarah who had already died. He then saw Arthur and he wanted to testify that he heard Arthur whisper “I’m still alive.” Sarah’s children objected to the testimony and the trial court sustained the objection. Arthur’s children appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kaplan, J. and Waltz, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Park, J.)

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