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September 2016 Archives

Attorney Prints Flawed Will

Virginia Supreme Court in the case of Thorson, et al. vs. Richmond Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) contains lessons for attorneys and clients surrounding the preparation of estate planning documents. An attorney prints flawed will, leading to mishap

Attorney prints flawed will in preparation of a Last Will and Testament in 2003 in which Alice L. Cralle Dumville, the testatrix (or creator of the will) desired to make sure that her estranged husband did not receive any of her estate should she die during the pendency of the divorce. To that end, she asked an attorney, James B. Thorsen, to prepare a will leaving her assets to her mother, and if her mother predeceased, to the RSPCA. Ms. Dumville died in 2008 having had her mother predecease her in 2007. The RSPCA was notified that they were the beneficiary of Ms. Dumville's estate, except a problem was discovered with the will. The will left only Ms. Dumville's tangible personal property to the RSPCA and made no provision for her real property, which would pass by intestacy to Ms. Dumville's two heirs at law.

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