There are clearer ways to create a life estate than what Hodge King used in his will. The problem with Mr. King’s will was that he appeared to leave his real property to his wife, Mrs. King, in fee simple but then also appeared to leave that same property to his son and son’s children after Mrs. King’s death. In Thompson v. Blackwell, the Georgia Supreme Court was tasked with interpreting Mr. King’s will to figure out what happens when you give the same piece of property to people, apparently to both in fee simple, in succession.
Let’s start where we always start: the language within the four corners of the will. In Item II of his will, Mr. King provided:
I give, devise and bequeath to my wife, Hattie F. King, all my property, both realRead More