Ayers v. CookAnnotate this Case
Caveators James Ayers, Nancy Davis, and Debra Hilty, siblings of testator Donald Ayers (“Donald”), appealed a superior court judgment, entered after a jury verdict, upholding Donald’s last will and testament that left the entirety of his estate to Donald’s remaining sibling, Carol Ayers (“Carol”). Donald was divorced with no children, and his four siblings were his closest relatives, but discord between the siblings had developed during the last years of the life of their mother. Donald had no will prior to April 2009. After a discussion about Donald’s wishes for his property after his death, Carol, using a form she found on the internet, prepared a will for Donald which she gave him to review; it left the entirety of his estate to Carol and named her as executor, and in the event she predeceased him, named Carol’s daughter, Tammy Cook, as beneficiary and executor. That same day, with Carol as a passenger, Donald drove to the courthouse where two deputy clerks witnessed the will’s execution. After being informed that the will did not need to be filed with the court, Donald and Carol left, taking the will with them. Donald died on January 17, 2012. Carol filed the will for probate, and Caveators asserted that at the time of the will’s execution, Donald was laboring under the exercise of undue influence by Carol and Tammy. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.