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In re Estate of Ward

Texas Court of Appeals
2011 WL 3720829


Facts

Doris and Bobby Ward were husband and wife. Both had adult children from a previous marriage, but had no children together. Dwana Phillips was Doris’ daughter from a previous marriage. After Doris died, Bobby filed an application with the court to probate Doris’ will. In the will, Doris left a 77-acre tract of real property, referred to as the “family farm” that she independently owned, to Bobby. The trial court probated the will and appointed Bobby as executor. Thereafter, Dwana filed suit, requesting a declaration from the trial court as to her rights under a purported deed of the family farm to her. Dwana claimed that Doris conveyed the family farm to her on a piece of paper delivered before Doris and Bobby went to Europe on vacation. However, the document was destroyed when the couple returned from Europe. The matter was tried before a jury. At the close of the evidence, the jury found that (1) Doris had signed a deed to the family farm and delivered the deed to Dwana and (2) Bobby exerted undue influence over Doris in the execution of the probated will. The trial court held for Dwana and Bobby appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Scoggins, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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