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In re Estate of McKown
Missouri Court of Appeals
274 S.W.3d 496 (2008)
Elaine and Larry McKown were married and filed for legal separation. The court incorporated into its decree of separate maintenance the McKowns’ oral separation agreement dividing their property free of each other’s interest. The McKowns never divorced. Before Larry died, he had executed a will that named Elaine as his wife but referenced the McKowns’ separation agreement to support his disinheriting Elaine in favor of his mother and sister. Larry’s will was probated. As Larry’s surviving spouse, Elaine (plaintiff) petitioned the probate court for an elective share of Larry’s estate (defendant). The court denied Elaine’s petition, reasoning that the property included in Larry’s estate had been freed of Elaine’s interest by the court order incorporating the McKowns’ separation agreement. Elaine appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Welsh, J.)
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