Sunday, April 20, 2014
Undue Influence by Some Beneficiaries Invalidates Only the Portions of Will Benefitting Those Beneficiaries
The testator’s will gave his estate to five friends and expressly excluded his family. Two family members filed objections to the will and the jury found that the testator had capacity but that three of the five beneficiaries exercised undue influence over the testator and thus the court invalidated the entire will. On appeal, the intermediate appellate court reversed in part and remanded, holding that the gifts to the beneficiaries who were not found to have exercised undue influence were valid because the portions of the will that were the product of undue influence could be invalidated without harming the other beneficiaries or violating the testator’s general intent. In re Estate of Kremer, 12–1662, 2014 WL 251908 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 23, 2014).
Special thanks to William LaPiana (Professor of Law, New York Law School) for bringing this case to my attention.