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TOWSON V. MOORE, 173 U. S. 17 (1899)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Towson v. Moore, 173 U.S. 17 (1899)

Towson v. Moore

No. 198

Argued January 25-26, 1899

Decided February 20, 1899

173 U.S. 17


In the case of a child's gift of its property to a parent, the circumstances attending the transaction should be vigilantly and carefully scrutinized by the court in order to ascertain whether there has been undue influence in procuring it; but it cannot be deemed prima facie void: the presumption is in favor of its validity, and, in order to set it aside, the court must be satisfied that it was not the voluntary act of the donor.

The same rule as to the burden of proof applies with equal if not greater force to the case of a gift from a parent to a child, even if the effect of the gift is to confer upon a child, with whom the parent makes his home and is in peculiarly close relations, a larger share of the parent's estate than will be received by other children or grandchildren.

The rule that successive and concurrent decisions of two courts in the same case upon a mere question of fact are not to be reversed unless clearly shown to be erroneous is equally applicable in equity and in admiralty.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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