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Supreme Court ties in inheritance dispute; stepsons lose

Posted April 17

— After hearing arguments, the Michigan Supreme Court won't intervene in a dispute over an inheritance in Allegan County.

The vote was 3-3 Monday with Justice Richard Bernstein not participating. The tie means an appeals court decision will stand.

John Cliffman didn't have a will in 2012 when he died in a car accident. His two sisters have been declared the beneficiaries of a $160,000 settlement with an insurance company.

Cliffman's stepsons challenged the award, noting that their mother was married to Cliffman until she died in 1996. They said Cliffman raised them as his own sons.

Three Supreme Court justices said the stepsons were entitled to a share, but the tie means the sisters win.

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