IN RE ESTATE OF JAMES SHEPERD SMITH, DECEASED - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 27, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Whitney Durand, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sonya Wyche.

Attorneys 2:

Jennifer Kent Exum and G. Michael Luhowiak, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, the Estate of James Sheperd Smith.

Judge(s): SUSANO

Sonya Wyche (“the Putative Daughter”) was named as one of the heirs of James Sheperd Smith, deceased (“the Deceased”), in the petition for letters of administration filed by James B. Smith and Jacqueline Smith Gunn (collectively “the Adminstrators”). The Administrators filed a “Motion to Determine Identity of Heirs” approximately 13 months after the Deceased died. The court held that the Putative Daughter’s claim as a child born out of wedlock was not perfected in a timely fashion. The court also held that the Putative Daughter did not carry her burden of proving that the Administrators, by naming her as an heir in the petition, acted with intent to trick her into not filing a timely claim. The Putative Daughter appeals. We affirm.

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