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Kummer v. Donak

Supreme Court of Virginia
282 Va. 301 (2011)


Virginia resident Justine Critzer died without a valid will and without a living spouse, parent, or child. The administratrix of Critzer’s estate, Nancy Donak (plaintiff), determined that Critzer had a biological sister, Mary Frances Kummer (Mrs. Kummer), who was deceased. Mrs. Kummer’s three children, Richard Kummer, Charles Kummer III, and Jane Kummer Stolte (Kummer children) (defendants), were Critzer’s closest living, blood relatives. After a Virginia circuit court granted Donak’s motion to establish the Kummer children as the sole beneficiaries of Critzer’s estate, Donak discovered that Mrs. Kummer had been adopted at age 53 by her husband’s aunt. Donak moved the circuit court to determine the effect of Mrs. Kummer’s adoption upon the distribution of Critzer’s estate. After a hearing, the court held that the Kummer children were not legal heirs to Critzer’s estate. The Kummer children appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mims, J.)

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