Estate of Norton
Supreme Court of North Carolina
410 S.E.2d 484 (1991)
The decedent, Lawrence Norton, executed a will at some point before 1977. The will, as presented to the probate court, consisted of six pages, with the sixth page ending mid-sentence. The six pages did not contain signatures from witnesses or a notary. Norton also executed a two-page codicil in 1984, which was signed by Norton, two witnesses, and a notary. The six-page document was stapled together with the two-page codicil and a cover sheet with the title “Will of Lawrence Norton and Codicil to the Will of Lawrence Norton.” The two documents were stapled together by Norton’s granddaughter at Norton’s request, because Norton believed the codicil needed to be attached to the six-page document “to be any good.” Norton placed both documents together in his safety deposit box. Also in Norton’s safety deposit box was another codicil that had been executed years earlier, which was also missing pages. Norton’s daughter Teab (plaintiff) submitted the eight stapled pages and cover sheet to the court for probate, and a jury trial was held. The jury found that the codicil was property executed and that the six-page document was properly incorporated by reference into the codicil, making the resulting eight-page document Norton’s complete will. The trial court then entered judgment notwithstanding the verdict, finding that although the codicil was properly executed, the six-page document was not incorporated by reference into the codicil. The court of appeals affirmed. Teab appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Meyer, J.)
Dissent (Martin, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 171,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.