United States District Court for the District of Maryland
747 F.Supp. 1154 (D. Md. 1990)
Wilson (plaintiff) is a testamentary beneficiary of Dr. Hurney. Dr. Hurney’s will left Wilson half of his residual estate. However, Dr. Hurney held most of his property in a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship with his wife, Mrs. Hurney. Therefore when Dr. Hurney died, most of his estate automatically went to Mrs. Hurney with half of the remainder going to Wilson. Wilson claimed that Dr. Hurney intended for her to inherit half of his entire estate and that Clancy (defendant), an attorney who drafted Dr. Hurney’s will, was at fault for defeating this intention. Wilson brought a malpractice suit against Clancy. Clancy moved for summary judgment. In her opposition to summary judgment, Wilson brought forth a witness, Ms. Bouman, who had done Dr. Hurney’s bookkeeping in the years before his death. Ms. Bouman testified that Dr. Hurney never mentioned to her that he would have to change his assets from a joint tenancy for Wilson to inherit half of the assets. Wilson asserted that because of Dr. Hurney’s alleged silence on the issue, such advice was never given by Clancy.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Smalkin, J.)
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