Kehler died. His will left
the remainder of his estate to his brother Ralph, his sisters Viola, Ada,
and Gertrude, "and to the survivor or survivors of them."
Ralph died before Kehler
Ralph's daughter Ethel came
forward and claimed the share of Kehler's estate that was to go to Ralph.
The Probate Court denied Ethel
a share. Ethel appealed.
Ethel argued that she should
take a share under the Pennsylvania State anti-lapse Statute.
The anti-lapse Statute says that if a sibling, child, or
nephew/niece mentioned in a will predeceases the testator, then their share goes to their children, unless the testator "explicitly manifests contrary
The Probate Court found that
the language of the will was quite clear, and that it explicitly limited
takers to living siblings mentioned in the will.
Under the common law doctrine
of lapse, if a person predeceases the
testator, they receive no
share of the estate.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court
reversed and awarded a share to Ethel.
The Pennsylvania Supreme
Court looked to other sections of Kehler's will and noticed that they
explicitly included lapse
Because the share concerning
the bequest to Ralph did not explicitly have such a provision, it must be
presumed that Kehler did not have such an intent.
Basically, anti-lapse will apply unless the testator explicitly states that they want the bequest to