In the Matter of the Estate of CONSTANCE ELAINE LITTLE, Deceased.
RENAE K. ROBERSON, Appellant. ROXANNE L. TREES, Individually and as the Personal Representative of the Estate of Constance Little, Respondent,
separate document in existence at the time a will is executed
may qualify both for incorporation by reference under RCW
11.12.255 as to distribution of the estate and as a
"gift list" for tangible personal property under
RCW 11.12.260. The terms of the will of Constance Elaine
Little and the undisputed record establish the intent of
Little to incorporate by reference a separate document that
directs distribution of the estate and tangible personal
property. We affirm the superior court order.
Last Will and Testament of Constance E. Little
facts are undisputed. Renae Roberson and Roxanne Trees are
the adult daughters of Constance Elaine Little and Royal
Little. Royal Little died in 2008.
20, 2011, Constance executed her will that incorporated by
reference a separate gift list. The July 20, 2011 "Last
Will and Testament of Constance E. Little" states, in
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: That I, CONSTANCE E. LITTLE,
a/k/a CONNIE E. LITTLE, a resident of the State of
Washington, of legal age, declare this to be my last Will and
hereby revoke all former Wills and Codicils by me made.
FIRST: I declare that I am a widow and that I have two
children, namely; ROXANNE LAREE TREES, whose birth date is
September 6, 1945, and RENAE KAY ROBERSON, whose birth date
is November 30, 1946.
SECOND: I do hereby state that it is my intent to prepare a
gift list separate from this Will for the purpose of
disposition of tangible personal property, mementos and
family heirlooms pursuant to RCW 11.12.260. . . .
THIRD: Except as provided in the list described in Paragraph
SECOND above . . ., after the payment of all just claims
against my Estate, I make the following special bequests:
A. Unto my sister, JUDITH LAREE FJELLMAN, born June 26, 1943,
I hereby give, devise and bequeath ONE PERCENT (1 %) of the
residue of my estate ....
B. All of the rest, residue and remainder of my property I
give, devise and bequeath equally unto my children, ROXANNE
LAREE TREES and RENAE KAY ROBERSON, share and share alike
FOURTH: I hereby nominate and appoint my daughter, ROXANNE L.
TREES, as Personal Representative of my Estate, to serve
without bond and I direct that this Will be probated as a
nonintervention Will. I further authorize and direct said
Personal Representative to sell, mortgage, lease or convey or
otherwise deal with the property of my Estate in the same
manner as I could do were I then living and whether or not it
be necessary to do so in order to pay claims against my
Estate or expenses of administration.
also executed the "Gift List" on July 20, 2011.
Little's handwritten note on the Gift List states,
"Attach to my will at Yakima County Court House."
The Gift List expressly provides, "I do hereby state
that this is a separate gift list that accompanies my last
will and testament dated July 20, 2011." Little
unequivocally directs "my Executor, Roxanne Trees,"
to "first reduce Renae Kay Roberson's half of my
estate using the bolded amount values listed below and for
the reasons provided in I, II, III, and thence to distribute
the remaining items in the order listed." Sections I,
II, and III of the Gift List state:
I. Since Renae Roberson has already received or taken
these items. I wish to acknowledge the following reduction
from her 1/2 portion designated in my estate, and
add it to Roxanne Trees Portion, in the following
1. My husband, Royal's Diamond Ring - Renae received in
Spring 2011 - ($6000 - Deduct 1/2 value @ $3000)
2. My husband, Royal's Chevy vehicle signed over to Renae
in Fall 2008, then sold by her ($27, 000 - Deduct 1/2 value @
II. Renae Roberson has taken charge of these
items without complete permission by me and/or through
documentation to me of their current whereabouts and
dispensation, as of this date. I wish to acknowledge the
following reductions from her 1/2 portion of my
estate and accountability measures of re-instatement.
Within (15) fifteen business days after the reading of this
will, if Renae Roberson has not satisfactorily acknowledged
return, replacement, the whereabouts, or accountability of
these items of my estate that she handled, prior to my death,
I direct my executor to reduce Renae's portion of my
estate proportionally and accordingly, using the itemized
reductions. . . . Bolded reductions include the following
items and transactions:
1. My husband, Royal Little's gun collection given to
Renae for safekeeping 2005-2008, and not accounted for since
2. Government Bonds for Royal Little/Constance E. Little
totaling (up to $60, 000) which were misplaced or lost by me
and recovery actions were instituted and taken by Renae in
July 2011 per the managers at the Yakima Valley Credit Union,
Yakima, WA where I cashed other bonds.
3. My personal collection of coins in blue/green collection
folders, including: (i.e. pennies, dimes, nickels, or
quarters) which Renae took without permission or for
safekeeping, and were noted as missing in early September
III. Renae acguired these documented funds from
me for her own purposes over time, and I wish to acknowledge
these as reductions from her V2 portion of my estate.
Personal funds and loans made to Renae by me include: $3000
(in 2010) and $12, 000 @ $500 per month (during 2010-2011) to
pay off Renae's personal loan of $55, 000 to Margie
Buchholz. (Total: $15, 000).
Gift List also states that "$10, 000 shall be deducted
first, and provided to each of my grandchildren, Ryan Trees
and Stacey Fataua," and "$500 each to the Meridian
School Foundation (Bellingham, WA); YCTV,  and Parker Youth
Foundation, (Yakima, WA)." The Gift List directs
distribution of "tangible personal property, mementos
and family heirlooms pursuant to RCW 11.12.260" as
Identified Historical items to the Yakima Valley Agriculture
Museum, Union Gap, WA; to Perry Institute, Yakima, WA; to the
Yakima Valley Museum, Yakima, WA[.]
Identified Historical items to the Meridian School
Foundation, Bellingham, WA[.]
Renae Roberson, my camera equipment and videos, her paintings
and items given by her will be returned to her.
Roxanne Trees, all books, costumes, jewelry and coin
collections, Indian items and items given by her will be
returned to her.
Ryan Trees, his Grandfather Royal's car tools and Great
Grandfather Merrel's tools and the red trailer or its
All mementos and items of family history (Little, Fjellman
families) and all those I possess, including all photos,
videos, documents, family movies, scrapbooks, letters and
genealogy items will all be returned to Roxanne Trees for
August 4, 2011, Little executed a new will. The August 4,
2011 will directs distribution of $10, 000 to each of her two
grandchildren and $104, 000 to Trees, "all to be her
sole and separate estate per stirpes." The will states
the "residue and remainder" of the estate is
bequeathed 1 percent to her sister and 48.5 percent to each
of her two daughters, Roxanne Trees and Renae Roberson.
September 16, 2011, Little revoked the August 4, 2011 will
and reinstated the July 20, 2011 will:
Re: LAST WILL AND ...