Supreme Court Agrees With Trial Court That Spouses’ Contract Invalidated Later Will

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Friday upheld a trial court’s decision invalidating a will because the will was contrary to a contract between the maker of the will and her deceased husband.

Roy Brown, Jr. and Ina Brown were married in the 1980s. Both of them had children from previous marriages. In June 2002, the Browns signed a contract agreeing to make wills that provided for all their children. They also agreed that they would not change their wills after one of them died. On the same day they signed the contract, the Browns signed new wills in accordance with their agreement.

Mr. Brown died six days after executing his will. Nine days later, Ms. Brown executed a new will that was different from her previous will. Ms. Brown died in 2003. After Ms. Brown’s son filed his mother’s last will for probate in the Chancery Court for Knox County, Mr. Brown’s children challenged the will because it violated Ms. Brown’s contract with their father. Ms. Brown’s son responded that the trial court did not have the authority to consider the claim that his mother’s will violated her contract with her late husband, and that the contract was unenforceable.

Following a hearing, the trial court decided that it had authority to try the dispute and that the Browns’ contract to make their wills was valid and enforceable. Accordingly, the trial court decided that Ms. Brown’s last will was invalid and that the will she signed before her husband died was valid. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision.

On Friday, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the decisions of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. The Court decided that the trial court had jurisdiction to hear the challenge filed by Mr. Brown’s children to Ms. Brown’s last will and that the challenge was not filed too late. The Court also decided that the contract between the Browns to make wills was enforceable and that Ms. Brown’s last will was not enforceable because it violated her contract with her deceased husband. Chief Justice Gary R. Wade wrote a separate concurring opinion.

Visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov to read the In re Estate of Brown opinion, authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr. and the concurring opinion by Chief Justice Wade.

 


Compass Auctions To Auction Custom Motorcycle

Compass Auctions and Real Estate announced that the Auction Firm has been selected to host both the online and live auction of a one-off custom KTM 450 in cooperation with RedBull Media House to benefit the Kurt Caselli Foundation.  “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a unique piece of history,” said Steven Holt, vice president of Compass. “It ... (click for more)

LBMC Gains Bryan Mattice

LBMC, PC, one of the Southeast’s largest accounting and business consulting firms, has added Bryan Mattice to the Accounting and Assurance services team. Bryan Mattice, CPA,   serves as a staff accountant serving a variety of industry clients in the Accounting and Assurance service team. Mr. Mattice comes to LBMC from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee where he worked ... (click for more)

Two North Shore Sold To Pennsylvania Real Estate Firm For Almost $24 Million

The Two North Shore commercial development on Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga has been sold to a Pennsylvania real estate firm for  $23,983,363. Steve Arnsdorff, who developed the successful center from the ground up and has continued to manage it, said the deal closed last week. He said the sale for the property at 319 Manufacturers Road is to Stoltz Real Estate ... (click for more)

Lookout Valley Middle High School Closed Friday Due To Water Main Break

County school officials said late Thursday night that LookoutValley Middle High School will be closed Friday due to a water main break. Officials said, "This is an official message from the Hamilton County Department of Education to the parents, faculty, and staff of Lookout Valley Middle High School.  Please accept our apologies for the lateness of this message. "Due ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)