Excluding Heirs—Not enough to operate the Anti Lapse statute

      In February of 2010, the California Court of Appeals considered whether a will that excluded unmentioned heirs and/or relatives expressed an intent by the testator to preclude the operation of California's anti-lapse statute. The Court held that the will in the Estate of Tolman did not sufficiently express an intent to prevent the operation of the California's anti-lapse law under Probate Code §21110.

      Tolman's will provided "Except as otherwise specifically provided for herein, I have intentionally omitted to provide herein for any of my heirs who are living at the time of my demise, and to any person who shall successfully claim to be an heir of mine, other than those specifically named, herein, I hereby bequeath the sum of one dollar ($1.00)."

       The decedent's granddaughter, Tomlinson argued that the decedent's grandson and great grandchildren were not entitled to inherit under the will because the will did not provide for them.  However, theprobate court disagreed, and held that Decedent's gift of the residue of her estate to Miller did not provide for a lapse if she did not survive decedent. The Appellate Court agreed, relying on the Larrabee Court's decision that "the exclusion of unmentioned heirs or relatives from the will's dispositions, or an intent to disinherit those who contest those dispositions, does not sufficiently express or manifest an intent to arrest the operation of the anti-lapse law following a legatee's death. (Larrabee v. Tracy (1943) 21 Cal.2d 645).  

For more information on wills or Probate in California contact an experienced California Probate Attorney.

Related Posts
  • How to Protect Your Business During Probate in California Read More
  • Talking Estate Plans with Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season Read More
  • Where Are Probate Cases Filed? Read More