Monday, April 5, 2021
Oklahoma Supreme Court: Children Not Mentioned In One-Sentence Holographic Will Are Pretermitted Heirs
In the Matter of the Estate of Chester, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held that "a testator’s son (who had shot the decedent during his lifetime leaving him with life-long injuries) was a pretermitted heir under his father’s holographic will which left the son nothing."
Buddy Wayne Chester, the decedent, was survived by two adult children, Steven and Lisa. After Buddy died, Lisa was appointed as Special Administrator.
One day before Lisa filed a number of petitions, Buddy's grandson, Brandon, filed Buddy's probate in Oklahoma County, claiming that Buddy had left a holographic will. Brandon objected to Lisa's filings alleging that Lisa "Was not to be administrator because of her financial issues and damage to estate property, and that Steve should be disqualified as well because he once shot the decedent."
The holographic will left everything to Brandon and was written entirely in Buddy's handwriting.
Steven later filed a Motion for Order determining that he was a pretermitted heir.
The trial court found that the holographic will omitted the son as a beneficiary and that it was not accidental. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that the two children were pretermitted heirs and that the will does not express the intention to omit to provide for his children. The will was only one sentence long and never used language that expressed that the decedent wanted his children to take nothing. Instead, the decedent did not even acknowledge his kids' existence in the will.
See Oklahoma Supreme Court: Children Not Mentioned In One-Sentence Holographic Will Are Pretermitted Heirs, Probate Stars, March 30, 2021.