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Williams v. Cole

Missouri Court of Appeals
760 S.W.2d 944 (1988)


Clemons, the owner of the subject property, died intestate leaving his estate to be administered by the probate court. A dispute arose between Clemons’ sister Williams and several of his nieces and nephews (plaintiffs) and his nephew Cole (defendant) regarding the division of the property. There was a deed to the property naming Cole as the grantee. At trial, Cole testified that Clemons deeded the property to Cole alone for the sake of convenience and that Cole was responsible for dividing the property between himself and Clemons’ two other nephews. Cole testified that, on numerous occasions, Clemons told Cole where the deed was kept and to get it recorded. Each time, however, Cole told Clemons to keep it in Clemons’ home for safekeeping. Thus the deed was unrecorded and always in Clemons’ possession. The Probate Division of the Circuit Court of Wright County held that Clemons nevertheless effected delivery of the deed. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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