Leone Pipes was the mother of Keith Pipes (plaintiff) and Beverly Sevier (defendant). Leone owned three farms: the Cott Farm, the Sheppy Farm, and the Home Place. In 1972, Leone directed attorney Leman Atherton to prepare two sets of deeds: a conveyance of the Home Place to Keith and conveyances of the Cott Farm and the Sheppy Farm to Beverly. Leone instructed Atherton to keep the deeds and to deliver them only upon her death. Atherton advised Leone that upon giving the deeds to Atherton for that purpose, “nobody could get them, not even herself.” Leone understood and said that was exactly what she wanted. Nonetheless, Leone subsequently executed and recorded a number of other deeds regarding the Home Place, resulting in Beverly and her son Roddy Sevier (defendant) taking title to the Home Place as joint tenants. In 1981, Keith filed suit against Beverly and Roddy, seeking to void the conveyances that were made after Leone gave the deeds to Atherton. Keith died in 1982, and his widow, Violet, and their four children were substituted as plaintiffs. The trial court found that Violet and her children held fee-simple title to the Home Place, subject to the life estate reserved in Leone. Beverly and Roddy appealed, contending that the delivery of the Home Place deed from Leone to Atherton was not valid.