By a premarital agreement executed in 1922 the wife of decedent waived all rights in his estate. The waiver was signed but not acknowledged. In August, 1930, decedent executed a will leaving $2,000 to his wife. In September, 1930, there went into effect an amendment of the Decedents' Estate Law of New York, which gave to a widow an election to take under or against the will of her husband and provided that such election could be waived only by an instrument signed and acknowledged. The statute applied only to wills executed after September, 1930. The decedent executed a codicil to his will after 1930 and hence the will came within the provisions of the statute. Decedent's executor claimed that so far as the statute invalidated the premarital waiver for lack of an acknowledgement, it was an impairment of the obligation of a contract and was void under the Constitution of the United States. On certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, held, a state may impose any conditions on the power to dispose of property by will; the will was brought within the provisions of the statute by the act of the decedent, and the statute was therefore constitutional. Irving Trust Co. v. Day, 314 U.S. 556, 62 S. Ct. 398 (1942).
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - IMPAIRING THE OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS - NEW YORK DECEDENTS' ESTATE LAW,
Mich. L. Rev.
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