Harrison v. Bird
Supreme Court of Alabama
621 So. 2d 972 (1993)
Daisy Virginia Speer executed a will in November 1989 that made Katherine Crapps Harrison the primary beneficiary and named her as executrix of the estate. On March 4, 1991, Speer called her attorney and asked him to destroy the original version of her will. He tore the will into 4 pieces and mailed the pieces to Speer. When Speer died on September 3, 1991, included in her personal effects was the letter sent with the torn pieces of her will, but the pieces of her will were not found. Harrison, who had been given a copy of the original will attempted to probate her copy of the will. The circuit court ruled that since the will was not destroyed in Speer’s presence it was not legally revoked and there was no ratification of the revocation. The probate court, administering the estate as intestate, awarded letters of administration to Mae S. Bird. The circuit court approved the administration of the estate as intestate and the award of letters of administration, holding that a presumption of revocation arose because the pieces of Speer’s will were missing and Harrison failed to rebut the presumption. Harrison appealed the circuit court’s decision to the Supreme Court of Alabama.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Houston, J.)
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