Document Was Not a Codicil

The document offered as a codicil to the decedent’s will was allegedly signed by the decedent in the hospital two days before her death and was denied probate by the Register of Wills. Based on the contents of the document and the notes of testimony before the Register (the submission of which the parties agreed), the court affirmed the decision of the Register because the document made no reference to the will it was supposed to modify and was totally inconsistent with the scheme of the will. The court also noted that the document did not expressly provide for dispositions of property upon the death of the decedent. An affidavit of the proponent of the codicil offering notes of the decedent and explanations for the codicil were excluded under the Dead Man’s Rule. Hogan Estate, 1 Fid.Rep.4th 271 (Montgomery O.C. 2023), on appeal (Pa. Super.).

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