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In re Estate of Reid

Supreme Court of Mississippi
825 So.2d 1 (Miss. 2002)


Facts

In 1979, Michael B. Cupit, a 24-year-old man, began an intimate relationship with Mary Lea Reid, a 78-year-old woman. In 1982, Cupit took Reid to the law firm of Allen, Allen & Boutwell. Cupit requested that Boutwell prepare a deed to convey Reid’s home to Cupit. The next day, Cupit assisted Reid in creating a holographic will that left all of Reid’s property to him. In August 1983, Reid had Allen, Allen & Boutwell prepare a will for her. The will was, in substance, a duplicate of the holographic will that Cupit had helped Reid prepare. Throughout this time, Cupit acted as Reid’s attorney and, in 1985, gained power of attorney over Reid. In 1986, Reid adopted Cupit. In 1997, Reid passed away. Thomas J. Pluskat sought to set aside the will, adoption, and warranty deed. The Amite County Chancery Court found that Cupit and Reid had a confidential relationship and ultimately found that the deed, adoption, and will were the products of Cupit’s undue influence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Diaz, J.)

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