In 1984, Alexander Tolin executed a will under which the residue of his estate was to be devised to his friend Adair Creaig. The will was prepared by Steven Fine, Tolin’s attorney, and executed in Fine’s office. Fine retained the original will, and gave a blue-backed photocopy to Tolin. In 1989, Tolin executed a codicil to the will that changed the residuary beneficiary from Creaig to Broward Art Guild, Inc. Fine prepared the codicil, and retained the original, giving Tolin a blue-backed photocopy of the original executed codicil.
Tolin died in 1990. Six months before his death, he told his neighbor Ed Weinstein, who was a retired attorney, that he made a mistake and wished to revoke the codicil and reinstate Creaig as the residuary beneficiary. Weinstein told Tolin he could do this by tearing up the original codicil. Tolin handed Weinstein a blue-backed document that Tolin said was the original codicil. Weinstein looked at the document; it appeared to him to be the original, and gave it back to Tolin. Tolin then tore up and destroyed the document with the intent and for the purpose of revocation.
Some time after Tolin’s death, Weinstein spoke with Fine and found out for the first time that Fine had the original will and codicil. Creaig filed a petition to determine if there had been a revocation of the codicil. From a judgment that Tolin’s destruction of a copy of the codicil was not an effective revocation of the codicil, Creaig appealed. Who is correct about the revocation and why? [In re Estate of Tolin, 622 So.2d 988 (Fla.)]

  • CreatedJune 06, 2014
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