When Dr. Arthur M. Edwards died, leaving a will disposing of his property, he left the villa type condominium in which he lived, its “contents,” and $ 10,000 to his stepson, Ronald W. Souders. Edwards left the residual of his estate to other named legatees. In administering the estate, certain stock certificates, passbook savings accounts, and other bank statements were found in Edwards’s condominium. Souders claimed that these items belonged to him because they were “contents” of the condominium. The other legatees opposed Souders’ claim, alleging that the disputed property was intangible personal property and not part of the contents of the condominium. The value of the property was as follows: condominium, $ 138,000; furniture in condominium, $ 4,000; stocks, $ 377,000; and passbook and other bank accounts, $ 124,000. Who is entitled to the stocks and bank accounts? Do you think Souders acted ethically in this case? Souders v. Johnson, 501 So. 2d 745, 1987 Fla. App. Lexis 6579 (Court of Appeal of Florida)
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