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Slaick v. Arnold

Georgia Court of Appeals
307 Ga. App. 410, 705 S.E.2d 206 (2010)


Facts

When Cora Belle Dorsey died in 1989, her will devised real estate to Nancy Slaick (defendant) and her mother, Katie Day, to “share and share alike.” Slaick, as the executor of Dorsey’s will, assented to the devise but said Dorsey had actually wanted the property to go to Slaick if Day died first and to Day if Slaick died first. Six months later, Day and Slaick went to an attorney to prepare reciprocal deeds reserving life estates and granting the remainder to each other. The deed that Day signed granted the property to Slaick “for and in consideration of love and affection and other good and valuable consideration” with a reserved life estate for Day. The deed from Slaick to Day was never recorded and could not be found. When Day died in 2006, her will devised her half of “any real property owned jointly by [her and Slaick]” to Day’s other four children (excluding Slaick), then specifically identified the property inherited from Dorsey. The administrator of Day’s estate, Emmett Arnold (plaintiff) asked the probate court to declare whether the deed from Day to Slaick was valid. The probate court transferred the issue to Georgia superior court, which found the deed void because it lacked consideration and ruled in favor of Day’s estate. The court reasoned that “love and affection and other good and valuable consideration” without a monetary amount did not qualify as valid consideration for a deed under Georgia law. Slaick appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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