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In re Estate of Hollett

Supreme Court of New Hampshire
834 A.2d 348 (N.H. 2003)


Facts

John Hollett obtained a divorce from Kathryn Hollett (defendant). John and Kathryn had five children (defendants), and John was a successful real-estate developer. The divorce decree awarded Kathryn a significant settlement of several million dollars. John became engaged to Erin Hollett (plaintiff). At the time, John was 52 years old, Erin was 22 years old, and John’s estate was worth approximately $6,000,000. Erin had dropped out of high school and had minimal assets. Erin was not familiar with John’s business dealings and assets. John told Erin that he would not marry her without a prenuptial agreement, but Erin stated that she would not sign the agreement. Approximately two years later, less than two days before the wedding, Erin was again presented with a prenuptial agreement. Under the agreement, Erin would waive many of her marital rights, such as alimony. Erin met with an attorney for the first and only time the day before the wedding. The attorney believed that John’s financial disclosures in the agreement were inadequate, but did not have time to verify the disclosures before the wedding. The wedding had already been paid for and was to have 200 guests. Erin signed the agreement on the morning of the wedding, and John and Erin were married. When John died, Erin filed a petition with the Merrimack County Probate Court to invalidate the prenuptial agreement. Kathryn and the five children opposed the petition. The court upheld the agreement. Erin appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Duggan, 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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