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Kroll v. Nehmer

705 A.2d 716 (1998)

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Kroll v. Nehmer

Maryland Supreme Court

705 A.2d 716 (1998)

Facts

When Margaret Binco died, she left wills written in 1980, 1985, 1990, and 1994. The 1980 will was altered and clearly invalid. The 1985 will was properly executed, but Binco had written “VOID-NEW WILL DRAWN UP 6-28-90” on the back. The 1990 will was handwritten and lacked attesting witnesses. Binco changed all the beneficiaries, disinheriting those listed in the 1985 will except possibly the First Church of God, whose status was unclear. The 1994 will also lacked attesting witnesses. Kenneth Nehmer (plaintiff) was appointed personal representative under the 1985 will and submitted it to probate naming Binco’s brother and only heir at law, Henry Kroll (defendant), as an interested party. Binco’s 1980 will purported to give Kroll a car, but none of the later wills named him at all. Kroll claimed they had a cordial relationship, but evidence suggested otherwise and that Binco did not want him to inherit anything. Kroll contended none of the wills were valid, meaning Binco died intestate and Kroll would inherit everything. Nehmer countered that Binco revoked the 1985 will assuming the 1990 will was valid. The probate court disregarded the revocation and admitted the 1985 will to probate under the doctrine of dependent relative revocation (DRR). Kroll appealed, but the county circuit court affirmed. The Maryland Supreme Court granted review on its own initiative.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wilner, J.)

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