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In Re Estate of Yocom





Appeal by objector from the Circuit Court of Sangamon county; the Hon. DE WITT S. CROW, Judge, presiding. Heard in this court at the May term, 1954. Affirmed. Opinion filed May 21, 1954. Released for publication June 7, 1954.


This proceeding results from a controversy arising in the course of administration of the estate of Mollie E. Yocom, deceased, in the probate court of Sangamon county.

The facts, which are not in dispute, are that on April 22, 1946, decedent executed her will; that the first item of said will reads as follows:

"FIRST: I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses and all inheritance taxes assessable against my estate or any beneficiary thereof be fully paid.";

that the second item thereof, after empowering her executor to convert all of her property remaining after the payment of debts into cash, provides as follows:

"After the payment of the debts and charges against my estate as set forth in Item First hereof, I give and bequeath the net proceeds of sale of said property and estate and any accumulations of income therefrom one-fifth part, each to my children, IDA MAE MUNYON, GEORGE E. YOCOM, FRED M. YOCOM, ETHEL Y. PRIDDLE and FLORENCE JOHNSTON.";

that on February 19, 1947 decedent executed a codicil to said will which is as follows:

"FIRST: I hereby alter and amend said Last Will by adding to Item First thereof the following:

"and I hereby direct that my daughter, ETHEL Y. PRIDDLE, be paid from my estate a reasonable amount for my support and care during the time that I make my home with her.";

that said decedent appointed Charles F. Barber executor of said will; that decedent died June 18, 1950; that said will was admitted to probate on July 24, 1950; that September 4, 1950 was designated as claim date in said estate and notice thereof published as provided by statute; that on January 8, 1952 the executor filed a final account showing the payment of all claims and indicating the balance on hand for distribution in accordance with the provisions of said will. On February 28, 1952 Ethel Y. Priddle filed objections to said final account, asserting in substance that the final account fails to show payment to her, in accordance with the provisions of the codicil to said will, of any sum for support and care of the decedent during the time she made her home with the objector; that decedent made her home with the objector for 932 days; that said objector is entitled to $9,320 for care furnished; that said objector is also entitled to compensation for services rendered decedent in managing her farm in the sum of $3,000; and that the account should be restated and the executor directed to pay objector a reasonable amount for her services in accordance with the codicil to the will of decedent.

Mae Munyon and Florence Johnston, daughters and beneficiaries under the said will, moved the court to strike the said objections on the ground that the objector failed to file a claim against said estate, and that any such claim as advanced by said objector is now barred by the limitation on the filing of claims as provided by statute.

Upon a hearing, the probate court ordered the objections stricken. An appeal was taken to the circuit court of Sangamon county, where the cause was heard de novo upon the motion to strike the said objections, which motion was allowed by the court and the objections ordered stricken. From this order the objector appeals.

The sole question presented by this appeal is whether appellant is a legatee under the codicil to the will of decedent. Appellant contends that the language employed by decedent in the codicil evidences a clear intention to make her a legatee; that therefore she is not required to file a claim; that it was the duty of the executor to pay her a reasonable amount for care and support furnished decedent; and that the executor having failed to make such payment, it is the duty of this court to direct the trial court to hear testimony, fix the amount due appellant under the codicil and order the executor to recast his final account accordingly.

It is the contention of appellee that such will and codicil simply acknowledge that the appellant should be compensated for such support and care of the deceased as may have been provided by appellant, and for which ...

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