Citation. In re Estate of Ulrikson, 290 N.W.2d 757
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Brief Fact Summary.
Testator left a will bequeathing the residue of her estate to her siblings to share or to the surviving sibling should one predecease the testator. Both siblings predeceased the testator and the Appellants sought to prevent the Court from applying the anti-lapse statute to the will.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
In the case of a survivorship clause stating what would happen if one beneficiary should predecease the testator and when in fact all beneficiaries predecease the testator will not prevent application of the anti-lapse statute. A clear intention of the testator is needed to prevent its application.
Bellida Ulrikson died testate in 1976. The will made specific bequests of $1000 to each of nine nieces and nephews. It also provided that the residue would be given to her brother and sister to share unless one should predecease the testator and then all to the surviving sibling. Both the testators brother and sister predeceased her and the surviving children of the testator’s brother sought to have the residue pass to them under the anti-lapse statute. The Appellants argue that the testator expressed a clear intention against the application of the anti-lapse statute by the language “and in the event that either one of them shall predecease me, then to the other surviving brother or sister.”
Does the state’s anti-lapse statute apply in a case where the residuary estate is given to brother and sister “and in the event that either one of them shall predecease me, then to the other surviving brother or sister” when both siblings predeceased the testator?
Yes. Affirmed. The language of survivorship clause was only applicable if there were survivors and since there are no survivors in this case the anti-lapse statue should apply.
The anti-lapse statute will apply unless there is contrary intention indicated by the will. Since there was no such indication in this will the statute was applied by the Court. The Court notes that the testator likely did not contemplate that both her younger brother and sister would predecease her since the residuary clause contained no instructions for this situation.