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Polson v. Craig

570 S.E.2d 190 (2002)

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Polson v. Craig

South Carolina Court of Appeals

570 S.E.2d 190 (2002)

Facts

When William Broadbent died, he left his wife, Martha Broadbent, 400 shares of Standard Oil Company stock and asked Martha to give the shares to his daughter, Norma Polson (plaintiff) at Martha’s death. After William’s death, Martha made a will that devised 400 shares of Standard Oil Company stock to Norma. Martha later made a new will that included the same devise to Norma. Martha also kept the 400 shares of stock separate from the rest of her stock portfolio. At Martha’s death, Standard Oil Company had become Exxon, and, due to stock splits, the original 400 shares had multiplied. Norma claimed that she was entitled to all of the Exxon shares. The executors of Martha’s estate (defendants) argued that Norma was only entitled to 400 shares. The probate court found that Martha had made a general devise of stock to Norma and that Norma was therefore only entitled to 400 shares. The circuit court reversed, finding that the devise had been specific and that Norma was entitled to the 400 shares plus the additional shares resulting from the stock splits. The executors appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Goolsby, J.)

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