In re Murphy's Estate, 13985.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtHOLCOMB, J.
Citation98 Wash. 548,168 P. 175
PartiesIn re MURPHY'S ESTATE. v. MURPHY. MURPHY
Docket Number13985.
Decision Date18 October 1917

168 P. 175

98 Wash. 548

In re MURPHY'S ESTATE.

MURPHY
v.
MURPHY.

No. 13985.

Supreme Court of Washington

October 18, 1917


Department 2. Appeal from Superior Court, Stevens County; Bruce Blake, Judge.

Action by James E. Murphy against Charles F. Murphy to set aside the probate proceedings had with regard to the will of Patrick G. Murphy, and to have admitted to probate in its stead a purported later will of the same testator. Decree for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. Affirmed. [168 P. 176]

Carey & Johnson, of Colville, for appellant.

L. B. Donley, of Colville, and Davis & Heil, of Spokane, for respondent.

HOLCOMB, J.

This is an action brought to set aside the probate proceedings had with regard to the will of the testator bearing date July 23, 1901, which was admitted to probate in the superior court of Stevens county, Wash., on December 15, 1914, and to have admitted to probate in its stead a purported later will of this same testator, Patrick G. Murphy, which will was executed in April, 1914.

Patrick F. Murphy died at the home of his son James E. Murphy at Velvet, not far from Northport, Wash., on November 23, 1914. His age at the time of his death cannot be determined with any accuracy, but from his own statements and those of his family and friends it is thought he was from 97 to 104 years old. There survived him five children, three daughters and two sons. The sons are contesting in this action. About 19 years prior to his death Patrick Murphy moved from Laramie, Wyo., to Northport, Wash., to make his home with his son Charles F. Murphy. At this time, although well advanced in years, he was quite vigorous in mind, and it seems that he helped his son at that time in editing a newspaper. He continued to make his home with this son from that time until March 16, 1914, when he was taken by Charles to Velvet, for what was intended as a visit with his other son James E. Murphy. When he came to Northport he had some property, and from time to time thereafter acquired more. For about 8 years prior to his death he had a pension which amounted to $30 a month. All of this property he kept himself, and it is uncontradicted in the record that his son Charles bought him all of his [98 Wash. 550] clothing and provided him with food and shelter during that time. Both parties to this controversy are agreed upon the fact that the old gentleman was miserly in his habits, and that he habitually entertained the most petty suspicions regarding the honesty of his sons and of others in whom he seemed to place some confidence. In the will of July 23, 1901, he makes minor bequests to his daughters and to James Murphy, and leaves the rest of his estate to his son Charles. In the will of April, 1914, which the lower court has held to be the last will of the testator and therefore the one which should be probated, the same minor bequests are made as in the former will, but the residue of his property is left entirely to his son James.

In this action not only two brothers but neighbors and friends are engaged in the dissension. From all the evidence the following are the chief facts from which the appellant seeks to show that the later will was made when his father had not the proper mental capacity to make it, and that he was unduly influenced to make it because of the false representations of James E. Murphy and his wife. It appears that the deceased had on many occasions prior to March, 1914, expressed great dislike for his son James. He also told diverse persons that he 'wished Charlie to have all of his property.' James Murphy has at no time in this action attempted to show that he ever expended anything for the support or maintenance of his father before March 16, 1914. The transaction that seems to have been the beginning of the elder Murphy's repudiation of Charles was the making of a partnership agreement which they entered into on the 23d day of May, 1913. Charles had decided to go into the general merchandise business at the town of Parkwater, not far from Northport. He was erecting a building at a cost of about $6,000, and was in need of a little more money to give him something to do business on. His father had in the bank about $1,926. He gave it to Charles, and an agreement was drawn in which the father was given an interest [98 Wash. 551] in the business. During the last few months preceding this time the testator's mind and body, in the opinion of some of the witnesses, were growing more feeble. On January 15, 1914, he went to Parkwater to live with Charles. He began to imagine that his friends and relatives were trying to poison him; that the customers were stealing goods from the store; became angry because he was not allowed to wait on customers, and thought that his son was robbing him because the money in the till was not divided every night. He also became so possessed with the idea that he would not get his money back that his son on March 7, 1914, made and delivered to him a note for $1,926. This note was written in longhand and was dated March 7, 1904. This mistake was not discovered until about ten days later. It was discovered after Charles Murphy had taken his father to Velvet on March 16, 1914. The [168 P. 177] father had become very anxious to get back among his old friends around Northport. He wished to go to Northport and keep house for himself. Charles Murphy realized that he was not able to care for himself, and suggested that he go to stay for a while with James....

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16 practice notes
  • Dean v. Jordan, 26885.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • May 12, 1938
    ...a valuable right, but is one assured by law. Points v. Nier, 91 Wash. 20, 28, 157 P. 44, 47, Ann.Cas. 1918A, 1046; In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 555, 168 P. 175, 178; In re Tiemens' Estate, 152 Wash. 82, 88, 277 P. 385-387, 68 A.L.R. 753; In re Little Joe's Estate, 165 Wash. 628, 637......
  • In re Phillips' Estate, 26751.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • January 6, 1938
    ...not only a valuable right, but is one assured by law. Points v. Nier, 91 Wash. 20, 157 P. 44, Ann.Cas.1918A, 1046; In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 168 P. 175; In re Little Joe's Estate, 165 Wash. 628, 5 P.2d 995; In re Larsen's Estate, Wash., 71 P.2d 47. The right, moreover, is wholly ......
  • Wheeler's Estate, In re, No. 38196
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • August 17, 1967
    ...cited into court, and such judgment is binding upon the heirs, devisees and beneficiaries who are privy thereto. In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 168 P. 175 Page 796 In Litzell v. Hart, 96 Wash. 471, 477, 165 P. 393, 396 (1917), it was said: Heirs, legatees, and devisees are therefore p......
  • In re Zimmerli's Estate, 22765.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • April 24, 1931
    ...nullify it after being admitted to probate, citing Points v. Nier, 91 Wash. 20, 157 P. 44, Ann. Cas. 1918A, 1046; In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 168 P. 175; White v. White, 111 Wash. 354, 190 [162 Wash. 248] P. 1003; In re Adin's Estate, 112 Wash. 379, 192 P. 887. After having careful......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Dean v. Jordan, 26885.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • May 12, 1938
    ...a valuable right, but is one assured by law. Points v. Nier, 91 Wash. 20, 28, 157 P. 44, 47, Ann.Cas. 1918A, 1046; In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 555, 168 P. 175, 178; In re Tiemens' Estate, 152 Wash. 82, 88, 277 P. 385-387, 68 A.L.R. 753; In re Little Joe's Estate, 165 Wash. 628, 637......
  • In re Phillips' Estate, 26751.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • January 6, 1938
    ...not only a valuable right, but is one assured by law. Points v. Nier, 91 Wash. 20, 157 P. 44, Ann.Cas.1918A, 1046; In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 168 P. 175; In re Little Joe's Estate, 165 Wash. 628, 5 P.2d 995; In re Larsen's Estate, Wash., 71 P.2d 47. The right, moreover, is wholly ......
  • Wheeler's Estate, In re, No. 38196
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • August 17, 1967
    ...cited into court, and such judgment is binding upon the heirs, devisees and beneficiaries who are privy thereto. In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 168 P. 175 Page 796 In Litzell v. Hart, 96 Wash. 471, 477, 165 P. 393, 396 (1917), it was said: Heirs, legatees, and devisees are therefore p......
  • In re Zimmerli's Estate, 22765.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • April 24, 1931
    ...nullify it after being admitted to probate, citing Points v. Nier, 91 Wash. 20, 157 P. 44, Ann. Cas. 1918A, 1046; In re Murphy's Estate, 98 Wash. 548, 168 P. 175; White v. White, 111 Wash. 354, 190 [162 Wash. 248] P. 1003; In re Adin's Estate, 112 Wash. 379, 192 P. 887. After having careful......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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