WA Legal Roundup
No, I haven't forgotten about my promise to keep the blogs a comin ;) There has, hoever, been some crazy hecticness which keeps me from this from time to time. I won't go back and redo more than what is in the current week, so anything I've missed, I apologize. That being said, one new opinion out of Div. I yesterday.
A woman wanted to establish that she is the love child of former (and quite dead) Exxon Chairman, Myron A. Wright. His will left a portion of his (presumably massive) estate to "lawful descendants." The PR thought lawful descendents limited the donative intent. WA courts were faced with two questions:
- May the use of the term "lawful descendants" in a will manifest the intent on the part of a testatrix to limit a class gift to children of married parents?
- Does it violate any applicable constitutional provision for probate courts to give effect to such intent?
Not surprisingly, the court held that lawful descendants was class gift wording and that it didn't violate our constitution. Probably not the best case to bring this on, seeing as the lady, though she has a good story as to why she thinks Wright her father, denied over and over again that he was. This probably negates any donative intent on his part even if you don't interpret it as a class gift to children of married parents.
One side note, the will at issue here isn't Myron's, but his wife, who died later, and in WA. The love-child had already tried to do this Texas style, but was rebuffed when her attorney was found to not have a Texas license and she failed to pursue the case further.