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Morse v. Sharkey

Michigan Supreme Court
764 N.W.2d 1 (2009)


Facts

Alice Raymond’s will provided that, upon her death, half of her estate would go to “my brothers and sisters that survive me share and share alike or to the survivor or survivors thereof,” and the other half would go to “the brothers and sisters of my husband that survive me share and share alike or to the survivor or survivors thereof.” At the time of Alice’s death, several of her siblings, and her husband’s siblings, had predeceased her. Alice’s brother (plaintiff) petitioned for probate of Alice’s will. Some of the children and grandchildren of Alice’s and her husband’s deceased siblings (defendants) responded, arguing that they were entitled to take under the will. The probate court held that, based on the plain language of Alice’s will, the only beneficiaries who could take under the will were those siblings who survived Alice, and the court of appeals affirmed. The deceased siblings’ children and grandchildren appealed, arguing that they were included in the will as “the survivor or survivors” of the deceased siblings.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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