(CN) – A woman who claims to be the love child of Exxon’s former president is not entitled to a share of his widow’s estate, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled.
Judith Patterson claims to be the daughter of former Exxon leader Myron Wright by a past love affair. Wright’s widow, Josephine, died and left her estate to the “lawful descendants” of her husband.
Judge Dwyer affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the Josephine’s use of the term “lawful descendants” specifically limited the estate to Wright’s offspring of his marriage.
“In construing the terms of Elvis Presley’s will,” Dwyer noted, “the Tennessee Court of Appeals announced a similar rule, expressly rejecting the proposition that the deliberate use of the term ‘lawful’ to describe the children in a will ‘merely means they must prove they are children of the testator.'”