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Baker v. Weedon

Supreme Court of Mississippi
262 So.2d 641 (1972)


Facts

John Weedon had three children by his first wife. Eventually he married Anna Plaxico (Weedon) (plaintiff) and bought a tract of land known as Oakland Farms with her. He and Anna worked the farm for most of their lives together. John’s will provided that all of his property was to go to Anna “during her natural life” and then to her children after her death; if she were to die without children then the property would go to “my grandchildren” in equal shares (i.e. the children of the children from his first marriage). He deliberately excluded his children from the will. Anna had no children, meaning that the grandchildren from John’s first marriage (Baker et al.) (defendants) came into an interest in the land upon John’s death. Anna’s advanced age and languishing health made it difficult for her to survive on the income from the farm. Meanwhile, urban development made the land more and more valuable for development purposes, although its value as farmland remained stagnant. Anna brought suit in Chancery Court to compel the sale of the property so that she could use the proceeds to support herself. The chancellor granted her request, and the Bakers filed an appeal to adjudicate the propriety of permitting her to sell land in which they possessed a future interest, vesting after Anna’s death.

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Holding and Reasoning (Patterson, J.)

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