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Geddings v. Geddings

South Carolina Supreme Court
460 S.E.2d 376 (1995)


Facts

Before marrying, Mr. and Mrs. Geddings signed a contract disclaiming their interests in each other’s estates. At the time of signing the contract, Mr. Geddings did not disclose the value of his estate to Mrs. Geddings, and the attorney who prepared the contract did not discuss Mr. Geddings’ assets with Mrs. Geddings when she signed the contract. Both spouses had children from earlier marriages. After Mr. Geddings’ death, Mrs. Geddings (plaintiff) brought a probate action to assert her right to an elective share of Mr. Geddings’ estate. Mr. Geddings’ children (defendants) argued that Mrs. Geddings waived her right to an elective share by signing the contract prior to marriage. The probate court found that the waiver agreement was invalid because Mrs. Geddings did not receive a fair disclosure of Mr. Geddings’ assets before signing it, and the circuit court affirmed. Defendants appealed, arguing that the contract Mrs. Geddings signed waived her right to an elective share of Mr. Geddings’ estate.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Finney, C.J.)

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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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