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In re Estate of Waks
Florida District Court of Appeal
386 So. 2d 307 (1980)
Karl Waks, decedent, and his wife, Belle Waks (defendant), contemporaneously executed a contract and a joint will pursuant to which the parties’ jointly owned personal property, including security accounts and bank accounts, would be divided in half, with one half passing to the surviving spouse and the other half passing to the decedent spouse’s named beneficiaries. Karl and Belle were childless. Karl predeceased Belle. Following Karl’s death, Anneliese Levine, the personal representative of his estate, requested that Belle surrender one-half of the jointly owned personal property pursuant to the terms of the joint will. Belle refused, and Levine filed a petition to enforce the contract and the joint will. Belle challenged the petition based on a series of affirmative defenses including undue influence, fraud, and nondisclosure of assets. The trial court denied Levine’s petition, reasoning that (1) only Karl’s portion of the joint will was currently effective and (2) the contractual terms were irrelevant to Levine’s petition because Karl and Belle had continued to hold their assets in joint tenancies after its execution. Levine appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Glickstein, J.)
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