In December of 1941 decedent was a fireman aboard an oil tanker bound for the Dutch West Indies. While discussing the dangers brought about by the war to merchant shipping, he told a shipmate, "Well, if I get lost or anything--I want Mr. Knight and his people to have what I got, insurance and everything." He repeated this desire to his fellow seaman on several other occasions during the course of the voyage. The vessel reached port safely, but several trips later the decedent was drowned when his ship was torpedoed. Knight claimed the estate, alleging that the statement was sufficient to constitute a valid mariner's will. The dead man's daughter contested it. Held, no mariner's will was created by the decedent's words. It must appear that he intended that his words were to operate as a will, and since the declaration was made in a general conversational manner, the necessary dispositive intent does not arise out of the circumstances. In re Buehre's Estate, (Pa. 1944) 37 A. (2d) 587.
Robert M. Barton S. Ed.,
WILLS - SOLDIERS AND SAILORS - INTENT NECESSARY FOR VALIDITY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol43/iss2/10