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Finley v. Finley

318 S.W.2d 478 (1958)

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Finley v. Finley

Texas Civil Court of Appeals

318 S.W.2d 478 (1958)

Facts

E. L. and Ella Finley had one child, Norman Finley (plaintiff). E. L.’s will left certain real estate in Callahan County as a life estate to Ella. The will provided that upon Ella’s death, the real estate would go to Norman as a life estate. The will provided further that upon Norman’s death, the real estate would go to Norman’s “legal heirs then living.” Ella’s will left all of her real estate as a life estate to Norman. Ella’s will provided that upon Norman’s death, the real estate would go to Norman’s “legal heirs.” Finally, Ella’s will stated that it should not be construed as giving Norman title to the property in fee simple. Norman brought suit seeking construction of his parents’ wills. Norman named his children, Eugene Finley, Ross Finley, and Kathy Finley, as defendants. The trial court held that under the Rule in Shelley’s Case, Norman took only a life estate to the Callahan County property under E. L.’s will because the Rule in Shelley’s Case did not apply to E. L.’s will. The trial court also held that under the Rule in Shelley’s Case did apply to Ella’s will, resulting in Norman taking fee simple title to Ella’s real estate. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Collings, J.)

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