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Conflict of Laws Keyed to Brilmayer
White v. Tennant
Citation:31 W. Va. 790, 8 S.E. 596 (1888)
Michael White lived in West Virginia for his entire life until he sold his farm in 1885. He made arrangements with his family to move to a Pennsylvania house that was part of a larger family estate. The main part of that family estate was located in West Virginia. In April 1885, Michael White and his wife Lucinda left their West Virginia farm with their personal possessions with the intent and purpose of making the Pennsylvania house their home. Michael and Lucinda made it to the Pennsylvania house, but Lucinda fell ill and the couple returned to their family estate in West Virginia. While taking care of of his wife in West Virginia, Michael returned to Pennsylvania daily to look after the house. Two weeks later, Michael died intestate in West Virginia.
Defendant, Emrod Tennant, was the administrator of the personal estates of Michael and Lucinda White and Lucinda’s father. He settled and distributed Michael White’s personal estate according to the laws of the state of West Virginia. Lucinda, as a result, received Michael White’s entire personal estate. Under the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, Lucinda would have only received one-half of the decedent’s entire personal estate. Michael White’s brothers and sisters, the Plaintiffs, would have received the other half.
Plaintiffs, William L. White and his siblings, brought suit in the Circuit Court of Monongalia county in West Virginia to set aside Tennant’s settlement and distribution of Michael White’s estate and have the estate settled and distributed in accordance with the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, where he claimed Michael White was domiciled. The lower court dismissed Plaintiffs’ suit, and Plaintiff appealed.
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