Peralta v. Peralta
New Mexico Court of Appeals
131 P.3d 81 (2005)
In 1979, Helen Peralta executed a will leaving her estate equally to her three children, Nora Peralta (plaintiff), Manford Peralta (defendant), and Ruby Archuleta (defendant). At that time, Nora was living with Helen and providing care. In December 1994, Manford moved Helen to live with him and/or Ruby. In March 1995, Helen’s bank accounts were changed to payable-on-death accounts for the benefit of Manford and Ruby. Helen then executed a codicil to her 1979 will that excluded Nora and divided her estate between Manford and Ruby. Then, in January 1996, Helen executed a quitclaim deed transferring her remaining real estate to Manford, Ruby, and their spouses. Throughout this time, Manford and Ruby told Helen that Nora refused to care for her, and they concealed the transfer of the assets from Nora for several years. Helen died in 1999 at the age of 94, and her estate was not probated. Five months after Helen’s death, Nora filed a complaint in district court for rescission, restitution, and recovery, and for imposition of a trust for Helen’s estate, claiming that Manford and Ruby had unduly influenced Helen to transfer her accounts and property to them and to have Nora excluded from the will. Manford and Ruby sought summary judgment on the ground that there was no issue of material fact concerning undue influence, and Nora responded that the evidence created a presumption of undue influence. The district court granted summary judgment on the ground that Nora had failed to name the estate and that her claim had not been made in connection with probate. Nora appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Fry, J.)
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