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In Re Estate of Gehrt

OPINION FILED JUNE 20, 1985.

IN RE ESTATE OF FORREST L. GEHRT, DECEASED (BETTY BOCOCK SHAW, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

JULIUS M. GEHRT, JR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. John G. Townsend, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MORTHLAND DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff filed a petition in the circuit court of Champaign County to construe the will of Forrest L. Gehrt. The will itself was executed on January 15, 1976, and provided for the distribution of the residue of his estate as follows:

"12. 1/18 to the following-named children of Edna Bocock, deceased:

Randall Bocock

Charles Bocock

Harold Eugene Bocock

Phyllis Cooper

Margaret Young

Darlene O'Brien."

The testator, Forrest L. Gehrt, on June 8, 1977, executed a first codicil to his will providing:

"As and for this codicil, I wish to amend Item 12 of subparagraph C of paragraph THIRD of my said will, and in that Item 12 there was provision for HAROLD EUGENE BOCOCK. Since the said Harold Eugene Bocock died earlier this year, I wish to provide that the share which would have gone to him go to his widow.

I, therefore, do hereby strike out the name Harold Eugene Bocock as a beneficiary in said Item 12 of subparagraph C of paragraph THIRD of my said will; and insert in lieu thereof, BETTY BOCOCK, to be beneficiary thereunder and to receive the part and bequest of my estate that was previously given to Harold Eugene Bocock, but provided that in case she remarries before the time of my death, then I do not wish the bequest to go to her; but direct, in that event, that the said share previously provided for said Harold Eugene Bocock shall go to his remaining brothers and sisters named in said Item 12.

In all other respects I hereby ratify, republish and reaffirm my said Last Will and Testament of January 15, 1976."

The petition to construe alleged that after the decedent's execution of the first codicil, as set forth above, and before his death, the plaintiff, Betty Bocock, remarried. The petition asked that the court construe the marriage restriction as an invalid restraint on marriage, and that said restraint be declared void as against public policy. The petition prayed that the executors be directed to distribute ...


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