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11/28/88 In Re Estate of Mary E. Brosseau

November 28, 1988

IN RE ESTATE OF MARY E. BROSSEAU, DECEASED (ESTATE OF MARY


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

E. Brosseau, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellee, v.

Everett B. Brosseau, Defendant-Appellant.)

531 N.E.2d 158, 176 Ill. App. 3d 450, 126 Ill. Dec. 25 1988.IL.1711

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kankakee County; the Hon. Roger A. Benson, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the court. HEIPLE and BARRY, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCOTT

This is an appeal from a decision of the circuit court of Kankakee County which held that Everett Brosseau, petitioner, was barred from renouncing the will of Mary E. Brosseau, decedent, and was also barred from receiving a surviving spouse's award because of a post-nuptial agreement entered into between the petitioner and decedent.

The pertinent facts which gave rise to this litigation and appeal were that the decedent was first married to Harold Hooper and from this marriage three children were born, namely, Ronald Hooper, Beverly Veigelt and Shirley Shulk, all of whom survived her. The decedent, Mary E. Brosseau, and the petitioner, Everett Brosseau, were married on February 27, 1960. On November 10, 1985, the decedent died testate and left surviving her spouse, the petitioner, and the three aforementioned children. At the time of her death decedent owned 354 acres of farmland, 40 shares of stock in the Kankakee Service Company, and cash in the approximate sum of $20,000.

The terms of the decedent's will bequeathed and devised all of her property in various proportions to her three children, with the exception of an automobile and household furnishings which she bequeathed to the petitioner. The petitioner, by virtue of joint tenancy arrangements, became the sole owner of several bank accounts having a total value of $60,000 to $70,000.

The decedent's will was admitted to probate and thereafter the petitioner filed a petition for surviving spouse's award and a "renunciation of decedent's will" and claimed his statutory share of the estate.

The executrix of decedent's estate raised as defense to the petitions that petitioner was not entitled to any statutory share in the estate because he was bound by a post-nuptial agreement entered into by both the decedent and petitioner on January 24, 1977. The post-nuptial agreement provided they (petitioner and decedent) would make no claim upon the other's property at the death of either of them. The agreement also specifically provided as follows:

"[After] the death of either it shall be free from the claim by the other on account of dower, courtesy or other statutory right in the same manner as if the said marriage had never been celebrated."

A hearing was had on the validity of the post-nuptial agreement and the trial court found the agreement to be valid and that it barred the petitioner from receiving a surviving spouse's award ...


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