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In re Hannifin’s Estate,2013 UT 46, 311 P.3d 1016 (August 2, 2013) 

Aug 2, 2013

A 3-to-2 majority held that the doctrine of equitable adoption, which it recognized in In re Williams’ Estates, 348 P.2d 683 (Utah 1960), has been preempted by “the detailed provisions of Utah’s Probate Code.” In re Hannifin’s Estate, 2013 UT 46, ¶ 2. In a lengthy discussion of preemption, equitable adoption, definitions of “child” and “parent” in the Probate Code, the majority concluded that it is “impossible to comply with both the Probate Code and with the principles of equitable adoption.” Id. ¶ 21. In particular, the majority found that the doctrine of equitable adoption undermines the Code’s “detailed intestate succession scheme” by “introducing uncertainty, complexity, and inefficiency – the very evils the Probate Code was designed to avoid.” Id. ¶ 29.