Roblin v. Shantz Case Brief

Summary of Roblin v. Shantz, 210 Ore. 371 (1957)

Facts: Mrs. and Mr. Roblin had two children, Charles and Ruth and they lived in Salem. Charles became transient between jobs and school and only returned home during the summer months. The father left the home and resided in a hotel after he learned the mother had been sending the son money. One year later he suffered a stoke and resided at a nursing home where the mother and daughter alternated care. The mother executed a will leaving everything equally to both children, but b/c of joint tenancies with the son, he received considerably more when she died. The daughter informed the father of this fact. He promptly called his daughter’s husband’s cousin, an attorney, and prepared a will leaving the son $1 and the remainder to his daughter. He died two months later.

Issue: Whether the will should be invalidated because of a claim that it was drafted and executed in response to undue influence?

Holding: no

Procedure: Circuit Ct dismissed contest proceedings by son of deceased, son appealed.

Rule: Undue influence must manifest itself and be exerted at the time of execution in order to void it. The burden is on the contestant to establish undue influence.

Rationale: Ct will set aside wills whose provisions reflect the testator’s belief in false data arising from fraudulent misrepresentation made to him by a beneficiary. The statement so considered must be false and known to be such by the maker. The speaker must intend to deceive and succeed in that deception. Then the misrepresentation must cause the testator to act upon it. Here, the statement by the daughter regarding the distribution of the mother’s estate merely rely information to the father as to her impression.

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