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James v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Arkansas
969 S.W.2d 672 (1998)


Facts

Eura Mae Redmon conveyed a property to her three children “jointly and severally, and unto their heirs, assigns and successors forever,” with Redmon retaining a life estate. Two of the children died, as did Redmon. The third child, Melba Taylor (plaintiff), filed a complaint in the White County Chancery Court, seeking a declaratory judgment that Redmon conveyed the property to the grantees as joint tenants with right of survivorship, making Taylor sole owner of the property after her brothers’ deaths. Taylor’s brothers’ descendants (defendants) opposed, arguing Redmon had conveyed the property as a tenancy in common among the grantees. Taylor provided extrinsic evidence that Redmon had intended to convey the property as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. However, this intention was not expressed in the instrument of conveyance itself. The White County Chancery Court found that the conveyance created a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship and quieted title in the property in favor of Taylor. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pittman, J.)

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