Because Will Violated Terms of Antenuptial Agreement, Wife Was Entitled to Claim Against Estate.

Before they were married in 1997, the decedent and his wife entered into an antenuptial agreement. At the time, the decedent owned property valued at almost $1.1 million, including farmland, a residence, and farm machinery. The wife’s assets were valued at approximately $150,000. The antenuptial agreement provided, "The will executed by [decedent] shall provide that he will leave his estate to [his wife], if she survives him." It further prohibited the alteration or revocation of the parties’ wills without consent of the other party. In 2011, the decedent executed a will in which he left 25% of his property to his wife and tp each of his three sisters. The decedent died in 2012. His wife filed a claim against the estate, asserting that the decedent’s will violated the terms of the antenuptial agreement.  The trial court agreed and entered summary judgment in the wife’s favor. The sisters appealed, arguing that the antenuptial agreement was ambiguous. The court affirmed, finding that the contract as a whole was not ambiguous. An early recital in the contract stating that each party retained an unhindered right to dispose of their individual property merely made it possible for the later provision to dictate how the decedent would dispose of it. Estate of Kleinlein v. Kauffman, NO. 4-13-1086, 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1698 (Ill. Ct. App. Aug. 5, 2014).

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