Extrinsic Evidence in Will Interpretation

Brother of decedent was bequeathed the “Maujer rifle”, which is a typographical error for Mauser rifle of which the decedent owned 10.  The Court held that the brother was entitled to all 10 Mauser rifles because of the wills ambiguity and the extrinsic evidence presented.  The extrinsic evidence (mostly the brother testifying to what the decedent had told him) was challenged as inadmissible hearsay or irrelevant under the Dead Man Act.  The Court allowed the testimony, because it was the decedents intent or plan (hearsay exception Pa.R.E. 803(3)) and the devisavit vel non exception to the Dead Man Act applied (all witnesses competent to testify to testamentary distributions).  Estate of Wilson Fox v. Glenn Fox, Jr., 5 Fid. Rep. 3d 181 (OC Somer. 2014) (Opinion by Klementik, J.)

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