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Estate of Rehwinkel

Court of Appeals of Washington
862 P.2d 639 (1993)


Facts

The decedent, Leo Rehwinkel (“Rehwinkel”), executed a will giving the residue of his estate to a list of relatives “who are living at the time of my death,” which included his living brother and sister, the children of his deceased siblings, and the children of a deceased niece and nephew. One of Rehwinkel’s nieces named in the will, Helene, predeceased Rehwinkel. After Rehwinkel’s death, Helene’s son, Ronald Fossum (plaintiff) petitioned the court to be considered an heir of Rehwinkel, and the estate (defendant) objected. Under Washington’s anti-lapse statute, RCW 11.12.110, if a beneficiary who is a relative of the testator predeceases the testator, the beneficiary’s lineal descendants who survive the testator are entitled to the deceased beneficiary’s share. The trial court agreed with the estate, and dismissed Fossum’s petition. Fossum appealed, arguing that under Washington’s anti-lapse statute, he was entitled to the share Helene would have received if she had survived Rehwinkel.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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