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In re Kuttler's Estate

325 P.2d 624 (1958)

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In re Kuttler’s Estate

California Court of Appeal

325 P.2d 624 (1958)

Facts

Ethel Kuttler handwrote a document stating that if she died before making a will, she did not want certain relatives, including her three grandchildren (defendants), to inherit any of her property. The document stated that Kuttler wanted her sister, Bertha McQuarrie, and her fiancé, Earl Hayter (plaintiffs), “to dispose of my belongings as they see fit.” Kuttler died without making a formal will. McQuarrie and Hayter petitioned to have Kuttler’s handwritten document declared her holographic will and to be given the authority to dispose of Kuttler’s estate as stated in the document. Kuttler’s only legal heirs were her three grandchildren, who opposed the request. The trial court found that the document was not testamentary and could not be used to dispose of Kuttler’s estate. Without a valid testamentary document, Kuttler’s entire estate would go to the three grandchildren that she had tried to disinherit. McQuarrie and Hayter appealed the trial court’s ruling.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ashburn, J.)

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