Mr. Manceri wins in the Fourth District Court of Appeal based on the Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation.
Mr. Manceri was on the winning side in Steuerwald v. Qualls, a per curiam decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued on March 14, 2012. The Steuerwald matter involved the long and well established doctrine under Florida law known as Dependent Relative Revocation (“DRR”). DRR stands for the proposition that a Will contestant must be able to establish that if the current Will of the Decedent is revoked, he or she is a beneficiary under the immediately prior Will of the Decedent or, if there is no Will, that the contestant would be a statutory intestate heir of the Decedent entitled to a share of the Estate.
In Steuerwald, the Appellants challenged the validity of the Decedent’s January 18, 2009 Will and alleged that the Decedent’s April 3, 1996 Will was the Decedent’s true last Will, under which they were the sole named beneficiaries. The Appellants made no allegations regarding any other Will(s) of the Decedent.
However, the Decedent also executed intervening Wills dated January 7, 2009 and June 19, 2007, respectively. Both of those Wills excluded the Appellants as beneficiaries. Mr. Manceri represented two of the beneficiaries named under both the January 7, 2009 and June 19, 2007 Wills.
On July 8, 2009, the trial Court dismissed the Appellants challenge to the January 18, 2009 Will, with prejudice, based on DRR. The Appellants did not appeal the Order of the trial Court. Later, they attempted to file a Second Complaint challenging the validity of the Wills dated January 18, 2009, January 7, 2009 and June 19, 2007, in an attempt to meet the pleading requirements of DRR.
On February 11, 2010, the trial Court entered an Order striking the Appellants Second Complaint, as they did not timely appeal the July 8, 2009 Order. The Appellants then appealed the February 11, 2010 Order to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial Court, in a per curiam decision.