Bryant v. Osborn (Majority)Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was real property owned by Lacy Bryant at the time of his death. Lacy left a will devising a life estate in the realty to his wife, Naomi, and devising the remainder to his youngest child, Brenda Osborn. Lacy’s will was never admitted to probate. Instead, Osborn filed an affidavit for collection of small estate, and later executed and filed an “Administrator’s Deed” transferring the real property from Lacy’s estate to herself. After Naomi died, Appellants, some of Lacy’s heirs, filed an action against Osborn, asking the court to, among other things, declare that the terms of the will were invalid and that Lacy had died intestate. Ultimately, the circuit court found that Osborn had fully complied with the requirements of Ark. Code Ann. 28-41-101, the statute governing the collection of small estates, and that the Administrator’s Deed was a valid conveyance of Lacy’s real property. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court clearly erred in finding that Osborn satisfied the statutory procedures for collection of a small estate and that the Administrator’s Deed was a valid conveyance. Remanded.