Character Change of An Asset Prior to Testator's Death

In Stenkamp v. Stenkamp, 80 Ore. App. 550, 723 P.2d 336 (Ore.App. 1986), the testator bequeathed his children "my interest in the investment plan with United States National Bank of Oregon," a retirement investment plan provided by his employer. The assets of the testator in this plan comprised cash and stock. When the testator retired, his entire interest in the plan was distributed to him. The cash portion of the distribution could not be traced, but the stock portion remained in the testator's estate (augmented by additional shares received as stock dividends). The children claimed the stock as their specific legacy under the will, but the residuary legatee contended that the legacy had adeemed because the testator no longer had an interest in the investment plan at the time of his death. The Court of Appeals of Oregon rejected this contention on the ground that the transfer of the stock effected "a change in form but not in substance." 723 P.2d at 338.