Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
This doctrine of dependent relative revocation stated simply means that where testator makes a new will revoking a former valid one, and it later appears that the new one is invalid, the old will may be reestablished on the ground that the revocation was dependent upon the validity of the new one, testator preferring the old will to intestacy.
Lott W. Johnson, deceased, a man of about 76 years of age, had in his lifetime accumulated considerable property and other evidences of wealth. In 1937 deceased made a will disposing of his holdings, the same being in good legal form according to Florida statutes. In 1938 Johnson decided that he would make another will, revoking the former one. This one, however, he dictated to his own secretary, who signed as the only witness. This instrument was held invalid for lack of sufficient witnesses, and the 1937 will not being presented for probate, letters testamentary were issued to the widow of deceased, under the intestacy statutes. A petition to establish the will made in 1937 and for the issuance of letters testamentary thereunder was then filed by appellants. A carbon copy of the 1937 will kept by the attorney who drew it was introduced, the attesting witnesses testified as to signing the will and the attorney testified concerning the signing and contents thereof. In both wills deceased made substantial bequests to his "foster daughter," a woman who had been living with him as his daughter for a number of years but was really no relation, to the manager of the business, husband of the foster daughter, and to several others who would not receive anything under the intestate laws. The wife, while receiving a substantial portion under the will, would receive considerably more if her husband died intestate. A circuit judge sitting as probate judge on the disqualification of the county judge, the 1937 will. On appeal to the circuit court the final order of the probate judge was reversed, and this appeal is from the order of reversal.
Was the doctrine of dependent relative revocation applicable so as to allow the 1937 will be reestablished and admitted to probate?
The court held that the doctrine of dependent relative revocation was applicable so as to allow the 1937 will to be reestablished and admitted to probate. The evidence was conclusive that deceased did not intend to die intestate and that he believed at the time of his death that the attempted will of 1938 effectively disposed of his estate. The court reversed.