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LeMehaute v. LeMehaute

Missouri Court of Appeals
585 S.W.2d 276 (1979)


Facts

Vincent LeMehaute (plaintiff) owned a residence in which he lived with his wife and two daughters. When Vincent’s wife died, he continued to live in the home. Eventually, he remarried, and his new wife and her son moved into the residence. In order to avoid any complications in gifting the residence to his family through a will, Vincent decided to grant a new deed to himself, his new wife, and his daughter Renee (defendant), who was the only legal adult of his two children and stepchild, as joint tenants. Vincent was assisted by an attorney in creating this new deed, and also had the deed recorded. Renee learned of this transaction two months after it was executed. Upon learning of the transaction, Renee became unwilling to cooperate with matters concerning the residence. For example, she refused to agree to allow her sister and step-brother to become joint tenants, to allow a mortgage on the residence, and to endorse an insurance check to repair the roof of the residence. Vincent brought an action to reform the deed, claiming that Renee should not be a joint tenant because the deed was not delivered to her. The trial court ruled that the deed was not delivered, and therefore Renee was not a joint tenant. Renee appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Shangler, Presiding Judge)

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