Administrative Law Keyed to Lawson
Hotz v. Minyard
On October 24, 1984, Dobson, Respondent, a South Carolina Lawyer, drafted decedent’s will. Decedent had a daughter, Judy, and a son, Tommy. Decedent owned two automobile dealerships, the Greenville Dealership and the Anderson Dealership. In decedent’s first will he left the Greenville Dealership to his son, gave other family members bequests totaling $250,000, and divided the remainder of his estate equally between his son and a trust for his daughter, Appellant. The same afternoon that decedent executed his first will, he returned to respondent’s office and signed a second will containing the same provisions as the first will except that it gave real estate upon which the Greenville Dealership was located to Tommy outright. Decedent instructed respondent not to disclose the existence of the second will and specifically directed that Appellant not be told about it. In January 1985, appellant called respondent requesting a copy of the will her father had signed the morn ing of October 24, 1984 and with decedent’s permission, respondent discussed the first will with appellant in detail. Respondent explained decedent’s intent to provide for appellant as he had for his son when and if she became capable of handling a dealership and respondent made notations to this effect on the copy of the will he discussed with appellant. Appellant claims respondent told her the will she was shown was in actuality decedents last will and testament and appellant believed the handwritten notes were part of the will. Respondent denies making that express statement but admits that he never told her the will he discussed with appellant had been revoked. In January 1986 decedent was admitted to the hospital for various health problems and while decedent was ill, appellant and her brother decided appellant would care for decedent while he temporarily ran the Anderson Dealership. Appellant questioned her brother’s financial dealing while he was running the Anderson Deale rship and consulted an Anderson law firm regarding her concerns. Respondent was granted summary judgment on the cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty. Appellant appeals.
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