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Guidry v. Hardy

254 So. 2d 675 (1972)

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Guidry v. Hardy

Louisiana Court of Appeal

254 So. 2d 675 (1972)

Facts

Leroy Guidry, Jr. (plaintiff) was the only child from the first marriage of Leroy Guidry, Sr. After Leroy Sr. divorced his first wife, he married Ruth Guidry, who had several children from a previous marriage, including Doug Hardy. After marrying Ruth and while living in California, Leroy Sr. executed a purported last will and testament. The purported will left two items of personal property of limited value to Leroy Jr., certain items of personal property to Hardy, and the remainder of Leroy Sr.’s estate to Ruth. Leroy Sr. died in California, leaving real and personal property in California and real property in Louisiana. The will was presented for probate in California, and Leroy Jr. filed an opposition. After a trial, the California trial court held that the will was invalid based upon Ruth’s undue influence. That judgment was affirmed on appeal. While the California action was pending, Leroy Jr. filed a nonprobate action in Louisiana against Ruth and Hardy (defendants), seeking a declaration that the will was invalid as to the Louisiana real estate. Leroy Jr. argued that the will was invalid because Leroy Sr. lacked testamentary capacity, the will was procured by Ruth’s undue influence, and the will violated the forced share he was entitled to as a surviving child under Louisiana law. The trial court held that the will was invalid, relying on the California court’s determination that it had been procured by undue influence. Ruth and Hardy appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hood, J.)

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