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McGee v. McGee

Rhode Island Supreme Court
413 A.2d 72 (1980)


Facts

In her will, the decedent, Claire McGee (McGee), gave $20,000 to her friend, Fedelma Hurd. McGee’s will also gave her shares of Texaco stock or the proceeds from selling that stock, and any money in her bank accounts, to her grandchildren. Just before McGee’s death, her son Richard, acting as McGee’s power of attorney, withdrew $50,000 from McGee’s bank accounts and used $30,000 of it to purchase several bonds. At the time of her death the assets in McGee’s estate were not enough to pay both the gift to Hurd and the gift to the grandchildren in full. Richard (plaintiff), acting as the administrator of the estate, petitioned the court for instructions on whether to use the funds from selling the bonds to pay the gift to the grandchildren or to Hurd (defendants). The trial court held that McGee’s gift to her grandchildren was a specific devise, but that Rhode Island disfavors the concept of ademption, concluding that McGee’s intent would have been to provide for her relatives before an unrelated friend. The trial court ordered the administrator of McGee’s estate to trace the funds used to purchase the bonds, and use those funds to satisfy the specific devise to McGee’s grandchildren. Hurd appealed, arguing that an ademption occurred when the funds were withdrawn from McGee’s bank accounts, and that the bonds should be used to satisfy the general devise to Hurd.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Weisberger, J.)

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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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