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In the Matter of the Swansons’ Estate

Montana Supreme Court
187 P.3d 631 (2008)


Facts

Jeanette Swanson (defendant) shot and killed two of her children. Jeannette suffered from mental disorders and had believed that someone was trying to hurt her children. Jeanette stated that she killed the children to send them to heaven to protect them. Jeanette pled guilty to deliberate homicide. The children’s father, Gene Swanson (plaintiff), served as the personal representative of the children’s estate. Under Montana’s slayer statute, Gene petitioned the court to forfeit Jeanette’s interest in the estate. The slayer statute stated that a person who “feloniously and intentionally” killed the decedent forfeited his or her right to the decedent’s estate. The district court granted Gene’s motion for summary judgment. Jeanette appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Leaphart, J.)

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