Wills

Elnora Maxey became the guardian of Sean Hall after his parents died. In 1996, Maxey died, and her will left the two houses in her estate to Hall. Julia Jordan became Hall’s new guardian, and when
she died, her husband, John Jordan, became Hall’s guardian. In 1998, when Hall was eighteen years old, he died intestate, and Jordan was appointed as the administrator of Hall’s estate. The two
houses had remained in Maxey’s estate, but Jordan paid the mortgage and tax payments on the houses for Hall’s estate because Hall had inherited the houses. Anthony Cooper, a relative of Maxey,
petitioned the probate court to be appointed executor of Maxey’s estate, stating that there was now no heir. The court granted the request. Jordan was not aware of the proceedings. Cooper then sold
both houses for the incredibly low price of $20,000 each to Quan Smith, without informing Jordan. The houses were then resold to JSD Properties, LLC, for a total of $190,000. Learning of the sale,
Jordan sued, contending that Cooper had breached his fiduciary duty and had lied to the court, as Maxey’s will had clearly left the houses to Hall. Does Jordan have the right to demand that JSD
return the property? What factors would be considered in making this decision? See [Witcher v. JSD Properties, LLC, 286 Ga. 717, 690 S.E.2d 855 (2010)] Question 2 A Question of Ethics: Wills(10
points) FACTS: Vickie Lynn Smith, an actress and model also known as Anna Nicole Smith, met J. Howard Marshall II in 1991. During their courtship, J. Howard lavished gifts and large sums of money
on Anna Nicole, and they married on June 27, 1994. J. Howard died on August 4, 1995. According to Anna Nicole, J. Howard intended to provide for her financial security through a trust, but under
the terms of his will, all of his assets were transferred to a trust for the benefit of E. Pierce Marshall, one of J. Howard’s sons. While J. Howard’s estate was subject to probate proceedings in a
Texas state court, Anna Nicole filed for bankruptcy in a federal bankruptcy court. Pierce filed a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding, alleging that Anna Nicole had defamed him when her lawyers told
the media that Pierce had engaged in forgery and fraud to gain control of his father’s assets. Anna Nicole filed a counterclaim, alleging that Pierce prevented the transfer of his father’s assets
to a trust for her by, among other things, imprisoning J. Howard against his wishes, surrounding him with security guards to prevent contact with her, and transferring property against his wishes.
See [Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293, 126 S.Ct. 1735, 164 L.Ed.2d 480 (2006)] Questions: (10 Points) 1. What is the purpose underlying the requirements for a valid will? Which of these
requirements might be at issue in this case? How should it apply here? Why? 2. State courts generally have jurisdiction over the probate of a will and the administration of an estate. Does the
Texas state court thus have the sole authority to adjudicate all of the claims in this case? Why or why not? 3. How should Pierce’s claim against Anna Nicole and her counterclaim be resolved? 4.
Anna Nicole executed her will in 2001. The beneficiary—Daniel, her son, who was not J. Howard’s child—died in 2006, shortly after Anna Nicole gave birth to a daughter, Dannielynn. In 2007, before
executing a new will, Anna Nicole died. What happens if a will’s beneficiary dies before the testator? What happens if a child is born after a will is executed?