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Family Challenges Woman's Last Will and Testament

The court upheld her gift to her minister.

• A Louisiana appeals court ruled that a last will and testament that left the bulk of an elderly woman's estate to her minister was valid. Relatives challenged the gift to the minister on the basis of two considerations. First, they claimed that the woman (who was 89 at the time of her death, and 84 when she executed the will) was not of sound mind. Second, they relied on a state law prohibiting clergy who "attend a person during the sickness of which he dies" from receiving any portion of that person's estate. The relatives argued that the woman had died of arteriosclerosis, which had been diagnosed ten years prior to her death, and that the minister who received her estate was her attending minister at the time her arteriosclerosis was first diagnosed. A trial court rejected both contentions, and the relatives appealed. A state appeals court also ruled in favor of the minister. With ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1991

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