Konou initially admitted in probate court that he didn’t have a stake in Wilson’s will. Later, he decided to fight for a share anyway. Most likely he was advised that there was a way he could try to get a stake of Wilson’s estate, and decided to fight for it. The simple way of it is this, if you wrote your will before marrying someone and then you die, courts are going to assume that you would have left something to your spouse if you had a chance to change your will.
In this case, because of the written agreement Wilson and Konou signed before registering as domestic partners, the agreement shows that Wilson knew what he was doing when he didn’t write a new will leaving money to Konou. Konou argued that his agreement should not survive his marriage to Wilson because a marriage is different than a domestic partnership. The idea behind this argument is that the agreement may have been meant to prevent Konou from inheriting before they registered as domestic partners but that marriage is significantly different and more important so that the agreement should not survive their marriage.
The probate judge found that there was no reason why the agreement shouldn’t stay in place after Konou and Wilson got married. To support this conclusion, the judge looked at the language of the domestic partnership agreement which essentially said that the parties understood that all rights were waived even if changes in the law change the rights between them as partners.
The Court of Appeal agreed, saying
“The [terms of the agreement] make it clear that the parties wanted the agreement to endure throughout their relationship and until their relationship was terminated by dissolution, death, or legal separation. Wilson and Konou’s relationship was terminated by Wilson’s death, and the terms of this agreement thus apply to their rights and obligations to each other.”
This means that if Konou and Wilson wanted the agreement to disappear if they ever got married in the future, they should have said so clearly in the document. As written, the agreement stayed in place after Konou and Wilson married and so Konou does not get to inherit anything from Wilson.