Estate of Henry A. Lassiter, deceased, Paula Ann Masters Lassiter, administrator, C.T.A. - Page 21

                                        - 21 -                                          
               In the instant case, we acknowledge that respondent’s                    
          earlier filings contain statements which would seem to negate any             
          intent to rely on a revocation theory.  Nonetheless, we also note             
          that it is at least questionable whether there exists the type of             
          potential for prejudice that should preclude its consideration.               
          The above-described rule focuses primarily on an inability to                 
          present evidence.  Here, however, both parties are apparently                 
          willing to accept that there is no evidence which could be                    
          produced to establish specifics regarding the creation, content,              
          and disappearance of the alleged instrument.  They rather are                 
          primarily arguing about the legal consequences of this absence.               
          Given these rather unusual circumstances and because, as                      
          explained below, we agree with the estate’s interpretation of the             
          substantive Georgia law, we find it unnecessary, and decline, to              
          rest our disposition of this issue on procedural grounds alone.               
               The interpretation of wills, with respect to determining the             
          legal rights and interests created thereunder, is governed by                 
          State law.  See Helvering v. Stuart, 317 U.S. 154, 161-162                    
          (1942); Morgan v. Commissioner, 309 U.S. 78, 80-81 (1940).  The               
          parties here do not dispute that the relevant body of law is that             
          of the State of Georgia, and we so proceed.                                   
               Ga. Code Ann. section 53-2-72 (1997) reads as follows:                   
               53-2-72. Distinction between express and implied                         
                    (a) A revocation may be either express or implied.                  

Page:  Previous  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  Next

Last modified: May 25, 2011