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Riddle v. Harmon

Court of Appeal of California, First District
162 Cal. Rptr. 530 (1980)



Mr. and Mrs. Riddle purchased a piece of property as joint tenants. Shortly before her death, Mrs. Riddle learned that her interest in the property would transfer to her husband upon her death. Intending to terminate the joint tenancy so that she could devise her interest in the property, she executed a grant deed conveying to herself “an undivided one-half interest” in the property, expressly stating that the purpose of the transfer was to shatter the joint tenancy. She then included the property in her will. She died 20 days later. Mr. Riddle (plaintiff) sued Harmon (defendant), the executrix of Mrs. Riddle’s estate, to quiet title in himself to Mrs. Riddle’s interest in the property. The trial court held that Mrs. Riddle’s conveyance did not destroy the joint tenancy and quieted titled in Mr. Riddle. The estate appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Poche, J.)

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