In the Guardianship/ now Probate of Kitty S. Oakes

Lynn St. Louis

Case Conclusion Date:December 22, 2008

Practice Area:Probate

Outcome:Favorable, establishing inheritance rights of persons via "equitable adoption"

Description:Kitty Oakes died without a Will. Who would inherit? The three boys she raised as her sons, but who were never legally adopted by her and her husband, jazz entertainer, Billy Tipton? Or her distant relatives in Kentucky? Lynn represented the Personal Representative in a case of first impression in Washington. Following a very interesting trial, Judge Michael Price ruled that the three boys should inherit under the doctrine of equitable adoption, never before applied in Washington, but achieving a just result.