Day Late Wedding Leaves Maybe-Widow Short

By Doug Chalgian on March 11, 2023

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Sandra and Leroy obtained a marriage license, hired a pastor and went through with a marriage ceremony in a church.  Two of Leroy’s six children were in attendance.

The opinion doesn’t reveal what Sandra wore or whether either of Leroy’s children cried.  What it does say is that, when Leroy died several years later, his children claimed that the wedding was a sham, that Leroy died single, and therefore, that they (the kids) are the sole heirs to his estate.  After a four-day evidentiary hearing, the probate judge ruled that the marriage was not valid.  In an unpublished decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed.

The key fact in the case is that the wedding license expired one day before the wedding ceremony was performed.  The kids testified that the one-day delay was intentional, and that Leroy understood that he was not ‘really’ married.  Sandra agrees that they knew they were a day late, but she says that when they went to the County Clerk to file the license, and to pay for an extension if needed, the folks at the counter told them they didn’t need an extension and that it was all good.  And in fact, the marriage license was accepted, stamped, and filed.

There are other facts about how Sandra and Leroy carried on after the wedding ceremony, but in the end, the date problem proved insurmountable to Sandra.

To read the unpublished opinion in In Re Estate of Leroy Edward Murray, click here.


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mm By: Doug Chalgian
Doug Chalgian

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