This is a great example of a failure to think outside of the box. Literally. A California man created a handwritten will that left all of his property to his wife if he were to predecease her. He also wrote that if they should both die at the same time, he wanted his property to be distributed to a number of charities that were important to them both.
What Duke did not contemplate in his will is the possibility that his spouse would pass away before he did, which is exactly what happened.
As Duke had never redrafted his will after his wife passed away, the trial and appellate courts declared that his property should go to his relatives under the laws of intestacy. However, the California Supreme Court ruled that an unambiguous will can be reformed by the court if it can be established by clear and convincing evidence that a mistake was made in expressing the testator's intent at the time the will was drafted.