Blunt v. Gee

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First page of the opinion Blunt v. Gee, in Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, by Daniel Call. Richmond: R. I. Smith, 1833.

Blunt v. Gee, 9 Va. (5 Call) 481 (1805), [1] discussed a widow’s distributive share in her late husband’s personal estate, when she failed to renounce his will within a year.


Mary Gee and her children from a second marriage, sued the executors of her late husband, Cordall Norfleet, and late daughter, Sarah Jones, in the High Court of Chancery. The complainant requested the Court grant Mary and her children their share of her first husband's estate. In his will, Cordall left tracts of land in North Carolina and Virginia to his son, John Norfleet with the provision that Mary would have the the estate until John became of age. After a year, Mary renounced Cordall's will. On July 24, 1798, John died intestate and without issue. On September 21, 1798, Sarah devised all her interest in John's land to Mary and her interest in slaves her step-sister. Soon after, Sarah also died.

The Court's Decision

Chancellor Wythe gave the plaintiff, Mary Gee, both her life estate and distributive share in real and personal property, despite the late renunciation of her first husband’s will. In his opinion Wythe reasoned "that the appellee, Mary Gee, by failure to renounce the benefit (if it were a benefit) bestowed upon her, by her former husband in his testament, was not barred of her dower in his lands, nor her share of his goods." The Court of Appeals reversed.

See also


  1. Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, (Richmond: R. I. Smith, 1833), 5:481.