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It is the intention of the testatrix that must be the main question for determination.
The testatrix wrote a will that devised one-half interest in her estate to defendant and one-half interest to the testatrix's mother, as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. Plaintiff contended that defendant's mother, who was plaintiff's grandmother, conveyed her interest to a third party, which was subsequently conveyed to plaintiff, and that by executing the deed, the joint estate created by the will was severed and the right of survivorship ceased to exist. In a quiet title action, the trial court found in favor of plaintiff. Defendant appealed.
Under the circumstances, was the joint estate created by the will severed, thereby leading to the cessation of the right of survivorship?
The court reversed the judgment and held that the testatrix, by the language of her will, intended to devise to her mother and defendant a joint estate for life and the survivor to take the fee. Such a ruling was in harmony with the law applicable when courts were called upon to construe wills because it was the intention of the testatrix that was the main question for determination. The testatrix indicated that it was her intention that her mother and defendant had the land for life and the survivor had the fee.