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Sybert v. Sybert

Supreme Court of Texas
254 S.W.2d 999 (1953)


J.H. Sybert died leaving a will that bequeathed all his property to his wife, Cora Sybert. The will further provided that upon Cora’s death, one parcel of land should pass as a life estate to his son, Fred Sybert, and upon Fred’s death should “vest in fee simple in the heirs of his body.” Cora Sybert executed a will that incorporated exactly the same language. Both J.H. and Cora Sybert died. Fred Sybert died later, leaving no children to inherit the property in accordance with his parents’ wills. Fred was survived only by his wife, Eunice Sybert (defendant). Two of Fred’s brothers filed suit, claiming an interest in the property on the grounds that their parents’ wills conveyed nothing more than a life estate to Fred. Eunice Sybert asserted that Shelley’s Rule acted to convert the life estate interest into fee simple title that vested in her husband upon his parents’ death. Both the trial court and the appellate court ruled in favor of Eunice. Fred’s brothers petitioned the supreme court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hickman, C.J.)

Concurrence (Griffin, J.)

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