Anderson v. AndersonAnnotate this Case
At the heart of this case was a dispute among family members over the estate of Edwin Burton Anderson, Jr. (“Burt”): his widow, Donna Lee Morris Anderson and Robert Knox, Jr., in his capacity as the administrator of Burt’s estate; and appellants, Burt’s three children from his first marriage, Charles Anderson, Arthur Anderson, and Kimberly Ware Anderson. At the time of his death, Burt owned a substantial amount of real property, including land which had been bequeathed to him by his father, Edwin Burton Anderson, Sr. (“Edwin”), in a 1962 will. After Burt’s death, Donna and Knox jointly filed an action seeking, in pertinent part: (1) to set aside certain deeds made in June 2013; and (2) construction of Edwin’s 1962 will, arguing that "Item Six" devised the land described therein in fee simple to Burt, thereby placing that property in Burt’s estate upon his death. The trial court granted Donna's motion for partial summary judgment on her claim to set aside the June 2013 deeds, concluding that Charles (who once held power of attorney over the property at issue) had no legal right to execute the deeds. With regard to Edwin’s will, the trial court ruled that Item Six bequeathed a life estate in the described property to Burt and at his death, the fee to Burt’s children. Burt’s children appealed (case number S16A1052) challenging the trial court’s order to the extent it granted partial summary judgment to Donna, and set aside the June 2013 deeds. In a cross-appeal (case number S16X1053), Donna argued the trial court erred by holding that Item Six of Edwin’s will granted Burt a life estate. The Supreme Court reversed that part of the trial court’s order challenged in S16A1052 and affirmed that part the trial court’s order challenged in S16X1053.