Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

In the Matter of Estate of Waters

Supreme Court of Delaware
647 A.2d 1091 (1994)


Facts

Elizabeth Waters was elderly and had cancer. Waters’s family, including her cousin Lillian Young, decided that Waters should create a will and give Young a place to live for the rest of Young’s life. Young’s sister contacted attorney Brian Murphy. Murphy was told that Waters was ill and wanted to make a will leaving her house to Young for life and to her granddaughter, Clare Trent (plaintiff), upon Young’s death. Murphy prepared the will without any contact with Waters. Murphy met Waters for the first time when he went to her home to have Waters sign the will. After Waters’s death, Trent brought an action against Waters’s estate (defendant), challenging the will. Trent argued that Waters lacked testamentary capacity and that Young had unduly influenced Waters in the creation of the will. At trial, Murphy testified that Young was present when the will was executed. However, Young testified that she was not present. Murphy also testified that he believed Waters had testamentary capacity at the time of execution. In addition to testifying at the hearing, Murphy represented the Waters estate in the will-contest proceedings. The state chancery court found that Trent’s challenge to the will was without merit and that the will had been properly admitted to probate. Trent appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Holland, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.