March 2016 Archives


In a recent case the Estate of Satish Trikah, [219 Cal.App. 4th 791, 162 Cal.Rptr. 3d 175] Testator's wife filed a will contest and opposed the petitions by son of a prior marriage to probate the will alleging that the testator had revoked the will by destroying it and the estate should pass by intestate succession. The son only had a copy of the unsigned will. The trial court following the old presumption that if there was no signed will it was presumed that the testator had revoked it. The appeals court reversed indicating as follows: 1) Son presented substantial evidence that testator did not destroy his will with intent to revoke it; 2) Son did not have burden of proof to convince trial court that testator did not destroy his will with intent to revoke it; and 3) Trial court's error in placing the burden proof on son was prejudicial to son. 


The Estate of B, Contra Costa County, Probate Department.

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