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Pigg v. Haley
Virginia Supreme Court
224 Va. 113 (1982)
Edward Haley was married to Eva Haley (plaintiff) for 27 years. Edward died in July 1977 and was survived by Eva. Edward’s will stated that his real and personal property should go to Eva for her use “during her natural life” and that after her death, all property not “consumed or disposed of” by her should go to Edward’s cousin, Garland Pigg (defendant). Pigg and Edward had a close relationship for 20 years. Edward had a one-half interest in 152 acres of land, with Eva having the other one-half interest. Due to the will’s ambiguity, Eva and Pigg executed an agreement two weeks after Edward’s death. The agreement provided that the personal property would go solely to Eva and that Pigg would have no interest in it. The agreement also stated that Edward’s interest in the real property would go to Eva as a life estate, with Pigg holding the remainder in fee simple. In May 1979, Eva sold 30 acres of the property to Donald Haley and Betty Haley (plaintiffs). A month later, Eva and the Haleys filed suit against Pigg, with the Haleys claiming a fee-simple interest in the 30 acres. The trial court ruled in favor of the Haleys, declaring the agreement between Eva and Pigg void. The court found that the agreement lacked consideration because Pigg received nothing under the will that he could give up in the agreement. Pigg appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Compton, J.)
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