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Oliva-Foster v. Oliva

Court of Appeals of Indiana
880 N.E.2d 1223 (2008)


Patrick Oliva (Oliva) executed a will naming his wife, Judith, as the primary beneficiary and naming his daughter, his son’s two children, and Judith’s daughter as contingent beneficiaries. Oliva later executed a second will, this time including his son as a contingent beneficiary, along with Oliva’s daughter and Judith’s daughter. Immediately after returning home from executing the second will, Oliva instructed Judith to tear up his first will, which she did in his presence. Oliva died, and his second will was admitted to probate. Oliva and Judith’s children filed a will contest, alleging that the second will was invalid because it was improperly executed. The children further argued that Oliva’s first will had been revoked, and that under Indiana’s laws of intestate succession, Oliva’s estate should be divided between Judith and the children. Judith argued that even if the second will was invalid, the first will would be revived under the doctrine of dependent relative revocation. The trial could found in favor of Judith, and the children appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Barnes, J.)

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