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Estate of Parsons

California Court of Appeal
163 Cal. Rptr. 70 (1980)


Facts

Geneve Parsons’s will bequeathed $100 to Evelyn Nielson and certain real property to Marie Gower. Nielson, Gower, and a notary public signed the will as witnesses. Upon petition of the executors, including Gower (plaintiffs), the will was admitted into probate. Nielson filed a disclaimer of her $100 bequest. Subsequently, several of Parsons’s cousins (defendants), who would have been Parsons’s heirs under intestacy laws, claimed an interest in Parsons’s estate. The cousins argued that the gift to Gower was invalid due to a California law that voided a will’s gift to an attesting witness unless there were two other disinterested witnesses who attested to the will. Gower argued that Nielson’s disclaimer meant that two witnesses—Nielson and the notary public—were disinterested, validating the gift to Gower. The trial court ruled in favor of Gower. The cousins appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Grodin, J.)

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