Mississippi Court of Appeals
697 So.2d 792 (Miss. App. 1997)
Robert Hynson owned oil and gas rights in a tract of land. In his will, he created a trust and left for the trust all of his oil and gas interests. Specifically, the will stated: “All of the income of the trust shall be paid to my said wife during her lifetime.” The will also stated that upon the death of Hynson’s wife, Carolyn, the remainder would be split evenly among (1) the descendants of Carolyn, (2) the descendants of Hynson’s daughter, Julie Jeffries, and (3) the descendants of Hynson’s son. Upon Hynson’s death, his wife, Carolyn, asserted that she was entitled to all royalty payments under the income clause in the will. Carolyn’s argument was based on the text of the will, the open mines doctrine, and Mississippi’s Uniform Principal and Income Law (UPIL). The UPIL applied “[i]n the absence of any contrary terms in the trust instrument.” The UPIL stated that 27.5 percent of gross receipts if received as royalties “shall be added to principal as an allowance for depletion.” John Jeffries, a trustee of the trust, took the position that the royalties should be invested for the remaindermen, and that Carolyn was only entitled to receive interest from those investments. The trial court held that the UPIL did not apply, because the language of the will was clear as defined by the common law. The court held that Carolyn, as life tenant, was only entitled to receive interest on royalties. Carolyn appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Southwick, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.