Dougherty v. Rubenstein

172 Md. App. 269, 914 A.2d 184 (2007)

 

RULE:

Testator's disinheritance of his son under the testator's belief that his son had stolen his money was supported where the trial court found that the testator had capacity to make a will and that there was an explanation for the testator's belief.

FACTS:

The delusion that the son had stolen the testator's money entered the testator's mind when he was confined as a resident, against his will, at a particular nursing home facility that was a terrible experience for him. He blamed his confinement completely upon the son and was of the view that the son, who was the decision maker with respect to his confinement, failed him by forcing him into the facility and by not coming to his aid to get him out. The trial judge found that the will was not the product of an insane delusion and the son appealed.

ISSUE:

Did the trial court properly admit the testator's will and disinherit the son?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

Although the testator's belief that the son had stolen his money was false, it prompted him to disinherit the son and was not an inexplicable delusion that only could have come into being as the product of an insane mind.

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