(Super. Ct. Nos. PR38621, PR37738)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie ,j.
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
This case involves a dispute between divorced parents over the $8 million estate of their deceased son, Louis Silveira, Jr. The $8 million was the result of a settlement with the son's school, which failed to adequately treat him immediately following his heart attack at the school.
When the son died, Betty Crick (the mother) learned she and Louis Silveira, Sr., (the father) were the heirs to the son's estate, even though the father had not been part of the son's life since birth. The mother had a disclaimer prepared that waived the father's right to half the estate. The father "tried to read it" but could not "make sense of it." The mother told him it was "no big deal, it's to have Louis's body transferred to the cemetery." The father signed it.
The mother filed a petition to enforce the disclaimer. The trial court ruled the disclaimer was void because: (1) the mother misrepresented the nature of the disclaimer and the father was not negligent in failing to read it in reliance on mother's misrepresentations; and (2) the disclaimer did not contain an "adequate description of the assets."
Mother appeals, contending: (1) the father "should be held to the consequences of his negligence in failing to read the disclaimer" regardless of her "inadequate" or even "misleading" description of the disclaimer; and (2) the disclaimer was adequate as a matter of law.
Finding substantial evidence to support the trial court's conclusions, we affirm the trial court's order voiding the disclaimer and establishing heirship.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The mother and father married in 1981 or 1982. They had a daughter in 1982, who was adopted by another family a few years later. They had the son in 1984. The father saw the son only a couple of times shortly after he was born. The mother left for Oklahoma with the son, and the father never saw him again.
The father moved to Rhode Island in 1988. He remarried and began raising a family.
The mother moved to Chico in 2000 with the son and her long-time boyfriend. While the son was in high school in 2002, he had a heart attack. The school failed to administer "CPR" and otherwise adequately treat him. He was in a coma for a year and ...