Wills, Trusts & Estates keyed to Dobris
Estate of Norton
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The decedent had made several wills before his death. After his death in a safe deposit box was found an eight page document which the Propounder, Teab Norton, attempted to admit to probate as the last will and testament of his father. The first six pages were stapled to a cover sheet and did not bear the signature of any witness or notary but did have the decedent’s signature in the corner of each page. The seventh page was titled “Codicil to Last Will and Testament of Lawrence Norton” and after words of disposition contained the decedent’s marked signature and the signature of two witnesses. The last two pages were found stapled together and then stapled to the cover sheet. Decedent’s granddaughter testified that she was instructed by the decedent to staple the two pages to the copy of his will so that they would “be good.” The trial court granted the Respondent’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and this decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. T he Court of Appeals concluded that the first six pages did not constitute a legally valid will because of a lack of witness signatures and that the codicil, although valid, did not incorporate the first document. Propounder now appeals.
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