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Kappus v. Kappus

Supreme Court of Texas
284 S.W.3d 831 (2009)


Facts

James Kappus and his brother, John Kappus, owned real estate in equal shares as cotenants. James’s will named John as executor, and established a testamentary trust with his children as beneficiaries and John as trustee. After James’s death, John (plaintiff) initiated probate proceedings. John intended to sell the real estate and distribute the proceeds equally between himself and the estate. James’s ex-wife, Sandra, on behalf of their children (defendants), opposed the proposed distribution from the sale, arguing that James’s estate was entitled to a larger share based on improvements James had made to the property. Sandra requested that John be removed as executor of the estate. The trial court refused to remove John, but awarded a slightly larger share of the sale proceeds to James’s estate. The court of appeals affirmed the division of property, but reversed the trial court’s decision on removal, holding that John’s conflict of interest as a part owner of the property mandated his removal. John appealed his removal.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Willett, 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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