In In the Estate of Hargrove, two daughters offered their mother’s last will and testament dated in 2017 for probate. No. 04-18-00355-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 1703 (Tex. App.—San Antonio March 6, 2019, no pet. history). Their brother offered a subsequent codicil. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court admitted the will to probate, issued letters testamentary to the daughters as co-independent executors, and denied the son’s application to admit the codicil to probate. The son appealed.
The court of appeals noted that a codicil must contain “a sufficient reference to a prior will” and that, if it does so, it “operates as a republication of the will in so far as it is not altered or revoked by the codicil; the will and codicil are then to be regarded as one instrument speaking from the date of the codicil.” Id. (citing Hinson v. Hinson, 154 Tex. 561, 567, 280 S.W.2d 731, 735 (1955)). The court held that the Hinson rule does not require that a codicil make a “specific” or “exact” reference to a prior will, but it does require that it state “enough information to permit adequate identification of the will being republished.” Id. The court held that the codicil in this case did not make a sufficient reference:
The Codicil does not contain a generic reference to an existing will that could be construed to mean the February 2017 Will. Instead, it contains a specific reference to a will executed at a specific time that is incompatible with identifying the Will at issue here. As noted, Mary Jane’s Will was executed on February 13, 2017. But the Codicil, which was executed a mere six weeks later, refers to “my Last Will and Testament, which was executed in the Summer of 2016.” Jim Bob contends that this is actually a reference to the February 2017 Will. But the express language of the Codicil refers to a will executed at least seven months earlier. We cannot simply overlook the discrepancy. Nor can we, in the guise of interpreting the Codicil, rewrite it to state “executed in February 2017” rather than “executed in the Summer of 2016.”
Id. The court affirmed the trial court’s rejection of the codicil.