Hysaw v. Dawkins (Opinion)Annotate this Case
More than fifty years ago, various real-property interests were distributed to three children under their mother’s will. Heirs of the original devisees argued over the proper construction of the will provisions and the quantum of royalty bequeathed to each sibling. At issue was whether double-fraction language in the will fixed the siblings’ devised royalty at 1/24 - allowing the fee owner the exclusive benefit of any negotiated royalty exceeding 1/8 - or whether the testatrix intended the devisees to share equally in all future royalties. The trial court rendered judgment that the testatrix’s will entitled each child to 1/3 of any and all royalty interest on all the devised land tracts. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, after considering the will in its entirety, the testatrix intended her children to share future royalties equally, bequeathing to each child a 1/3 floating royalty, not a 1/24 fixed royalty.