Riddle v. Harmon

102 Cal. App. 3d 524, 162 Cal. Rptr. 530 (1980)


Mr. and Mrs. Riddle purchased real property taking title as joint tenants. Several months before her death, Mrs. Riddle (D) retained an attorney to plan her estate. Upon learning that the property would pass to her husband at her death, D conveyed her joint tenancy interest from herself as joint tenant to herself as tenant in common. The attorney prepared the deed and on the face of the deed it told its purpose was to terminate the joint tenancies. She did not want the property to pass to her husband when she died; she wanted to pass it on through her will. The grant deed and D’s will were executed on December 8, 1975, and D died 20 days later. The trial court refused to sanction her plan to sever the joint tenancy and quieted title to her husband. Harmon (D) was the executrix of the wife's estate, and he appealed the decision.