O owns three tracts of land. The tracts are known as Whiteacre, Blackacre, and Greenacre. O’s will contains the following provision: “I leave Whiteacre to A, Blackacre to B, and Greenacre plus all of my remaining real and personal property to C.” O has mortgaged Blackacre to a local bank for $100,000.
A dies six months before O dies. A is survived by A’s spouse, X, and their adult child, Y. A has no other children, and Y is childless. A’s will leaves all of A’s real property to X for life, then to Y.
O’s will remains unchanged after A’s death. When O dies, the balance due on the Blackacre mortgage is $50,000. O’s estate includes $300,000 in cash. O’s will contains no provisions regarding the Blackacre mortgage.
The applicable law follows the rule of exoneration. In addition, the applicable law includes the following statute:
Lapse: If the named beneficiary of any real property is not living at the time of the testator’s death, such real property shall pass to the descendants of the named beneficiary per stirpes.
One week after O’s death, O’s executor discovers among O’s possessions a contract to sell Greenacre to D for $500,000. The contract is valid on its face, and is dated after O’s will. C claims to own Greenacre, and does not wish to sell it. Nevertheless, D tenders the $500,000 and demands the deed to Greenacre. D’s claim is governed by the common law of property.
- Upon O’s death, what legal interests do X, Y, and C, respectively, hold in Whiteacre? Explain.
- Assuming that B accepts the bequest of Blackacre, must B take subject to the preexisting mortgage? Explain.
- After O’s death, is D entitled to Greenacre? Explain.