John Irvine and Deana Dodge married in 1979. At the time of their marriage, Deana had a son from a previous marriage, Michael Dodge. During their marriage, John and Deana had no children together nor did they adopt any children. John did not adopt Dodge. In 1983, John and Deana executed wills. The lawyer who drafted the wills retained the wills in his file. When he retired, the law firm that took over his practice retained the files. Deana died in 2008 and John in 2009. At the time of John's death, she was survived by his stepson, Dodge, his brother, William, and his mother, Va Va. Under the laws of intestacy, Va Va stood to inherit all of John's property if John left no will. One week after John died, William-who believed his brother had died without at will-sought to be appointed personal representative of his brother's estate. Later, however, while going through John's belongings, William found a copy of John's will. He also obtained the original signed will from the law firm. The will purported to pass all of John's property to Dodge if Deana predeceased him.
There was no indication that John had made another will or had destroyed the will or otherwise attempted to revoke it. Va Va filed an objection to the probate of John's will, challenging its validity. Will she win?

  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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