Brief Fact Summary. Allen created a will that disposed of property to her living brother and sisters.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In the absence of ambiguity, courts will construe a will based on the expressed language used in the will.
Issue. Whether the words in a will, “to my living brothers and sisters: John Allen Claude Allen, Lewis Allen, Lera Talley, and Juanita Jordan, to share and share alike..”, create a class gift or a survivorship interest?
Held. The phrase created a survivorship interest because the testator used the phrase “share and share alike” which is not relevant if the gift was a class gift?
Discussion. In upholding the testator’s intent, the court strongly prefers interpreting a will based on its face value rather than inferring an intent that would go against the face of the will. If the court determined that the deceased made a class gift, a great amount of her estate would have passed to parties not named in the will.