Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 07:18:12 :
The Marin Journal
Thursday, June 5, 1924
Jury Revokes Will of John Mahlstedt
By a vote of ten to two, when but nine out of twelve votes were necessary, a jury in the Superior court here yesterday set aside the will of John J. Mahlstedt which bequeathed an estate valued at about $20,000 to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Alice Mahlstedt, of Novato.
The jury found that John J. Mahlstedt was of unsound mind and was acting under the influence of another person at the time the will was drawn and signed by him.
The revocation of the will restores for probate proceedings a will made at a prior date which bequeaths to Mrs. Mahlstedt and two nieces of the deceased, Mrs. Jacobina Kapis and Mrs. Meta Hansen, each a third of the estate. By the document set aside the two nieces were disinherited.
It developed in the testimony that John J. Mahlstedt had resided with his brother, Fred Mahlstedt and the latter’s wife for many years, and shortly after 1906 he purchased a ranch in Novato and went there to live with h is brother, who died in 1922. In September of that year he made the will providing for his sister-in-law and nieces.
Testimony was given to the effect that friendly relations between the two nieces and their uncle underwent no change between the dates of the two wills.
The contested will was drawn March 7, 1923, while Mahlstadt was ill and in bed. He died the following the day.
The trial took three full days and five attorneys were engaged in prosecuting and defending the issue, Attorneys Joseph K. Hawkins and George H. Harlan representing Mrs. Mahlstedt, and Attorneys DeLancey, Smith and Robinson representing the contestants. R. W. Johnson was foreman of the jury.
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