The Florida District Court of Appeals recently applied a little known doctrine called the Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation in the case of In Re Estate of Murphy to save an estate from passing through intestacy.
The owner of the estate was Virginia Murphy. Mrs. Murphy died in 2006 and was predeceased by her parents and husband. She also died without any siblings or children. In the years before she passed, Mrs. Murphy executed a number of wills that were prepared by her longtime attorney Jack S. Carney, including the last will she executed in 1994. The 1994 will named Mr. Carey as personal representative of Mrs. Murphy’s estate; and it purported to leave the bulk of that estate to Mr. Carey, Gloria DuBois (Mr. Carey’s legal assistant), and George Tornwall (Mrs. Murphy’s accountant, who died the year before Mrs. Murphy passed away).