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Levin v. Levin
Florida District Court of Appeal
60 So. 3d 1116 (2011)
Shirley Levin, decedent, originally executed a will dividing her estate equally between her two children, Gail Levin (plaintiff) and William Levin (defendant). However, shortly before her death, Shirley executed a new will and trust that (1) named William the trustee of the trust; (2) granted William’s two children $150,000; (3) directed William to use additional trust funds to pay for his children’s educations; (4) granted Gail $350,000; and (5) granted William the remainder of the assets. Upon her death, Shirley’s estate was worth approximately $3 million. Gail objected to William’s appointment as the estate’s personal representative and argued that Shirley lacked testamentary capacity when she executed the new will. Gail argued that (1) William subjected Shirley to undue influence to execute the new will and trust, and (2) Shirley suffered from an insane delusion that she had not seen Gail in over 10 years, which caused her to greatly reduce Gail’s inheritance from what it had been originally. Gail presented evidence that she had visited her mother repeatedly in the last 10 years and that her mother had persisted in her belief despite contrary evidence. The trial court (1) held that William did not exert undue influence on Shirley, because he was not active in procuring the new will and trust; and (2) did not address whether Shirley was suffering from an insane delusion. Gail appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Levine, J.)
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