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Ward-Allen v. Gaskins

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
989 A.2d 185 (2010)


Anna Creech (Creech) executed a will that provided several specific bequests, gave the residue of her estate to her nieces and nephews, and nominated her nephew, Cleveland Mitchell (Mitchell) as personal representative, with her niece, Lettie Gaskins, as the alternate. Creech later executed a codicil to the will, changing the specific bequests, including making specific bequests to her grand-niece, Bobbie Jean Ward-Allen (Ward-Allen), and nominating Ward-Allen as the alternate personal representative. After Creech’s death, Mitchell renounced his appointment as personal representative. Ward-Allen filed Creech’s original will and a copy of the codicil with the register of wills, and sought appointment as personal representative. Gaskins objected to the admission of the codicil, because the original had not been filed. Ward-Allen claimed she previously had possession of the original codicil, and at some point sent it to Mitchell because he was nominated as personal representative. The trial court admitted the entire will into to probate, but refused to admit the copy of the codicil, holding that Ward-Allen had failed to show what had happened to the original codicil. Ward-Allen appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fisher, J.)

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