Brief Fact Summary. Decedent’s widow, appellant, appeals from a decree wherein the court found that decedent was not suffering from insane delusions. Appellant alleges the decedent was suffering from insane delusions when he executed the will because he cut her out of the will based on his belief that she was unfaithful to him.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a person persistently believes supposed facts, which have no real existence except in his perverted imagination, and against all evidence and probability, and conducts himself, however logically, upon the assumption of their existence, he is, so far as they are concerned, under a morbid delusion; and delusion in that sense is insanity.
Issue. Whether the decedent had any reasonable basis for believing that his wife was unfaithful to him?
Held. No. The order should be reversed and a new trial granted.
Decedent persistently told of his suspicions that his wife was unfaithful to anyone who would listen. That such a belief was an obsession with him was clearly established by a preponderance of the evidence, and there was presented a question of fact as to whether it affected the will he made shortly before his death.
Dissent. The order should be affirmed. Even assuming the proof demonstrates that the decedent’s belief that his wife was unfaithful was completely groundless, it does not follow from this fact that the decedent suffered from such as delusion as to classify him as lacking the capacity to make a will. The evidence adduced failed to prove that the decedent was suffering from an insane delusion or lacked testamentary capacity.
Discussion. A will is bad when its dispository provisions were or might have been caused or affected by an insane delusion.