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Heir Apparent Tim and Anna were married for 10 years. In 2000, their marriage was legally dissolved. For several months following the dissolution, Tim and Anna attempted to reconcile but ultimately failed to do so. In 2001, after reconciliation attempts failed, Tim executed a valid will leaving “all my property to my best friend, Anna.” Later that year, Fred was born to Anna out of wedlock. Tim was Fred’s father, but Anna did not inform Tim of Fred’s existence. In 2002, Tim and Beth married. Two days before the wedding, Beth executed a prenuptial agreement waiving all rights to Tim’s estate. Beth was not represented by counsel when she executed the prenuptial agreement. In 2003, Sarah was born to Tim and Beth. In 2004, Tim died. His estate consists of his share of a $400,000 house owned with Beth as community property, plus $90,000 worth of separate property. Tim’s 2001 will has been admitted to probate. Beth, Sarah, Fred and Anna have each claimed shares of Tim’s estate. How should the estate be distributed? Discuss. Answer according to California law.
Answer 2 This answer provided by The Writing Edge, 800-949-PASS, www.writingedge.com. Fred � A did not tell T about their child. Fraudulent prevention? When a beneficiary omits material information from the testator in order to benefit and the testator relies by failing to make or change a will, it is fraudulent prevention. Omits material information? Here, A knew she was pregnant and that T was the father. Scienter � in order to benefit? We do not know why A failed to tell T about F. She may have been trying to extricate from the marriage and their involvement. We cannot say for certain that A hid F from T in order to benefit under T’s will. Reliance? T referred to A as his “best friend,” and wrote a will making her his sole heir. A gave birth to their son later that same year. If T had known the true facts, he would probably have written a different will or amended it after F was born to provide for his son. Instead, A withheld this information. Conclusion: Without proof of A’s intention to gain under his will, it is difficult to conclude that fraudulent prevention is met. Fred&# 151;

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