All Content

Posted by: Landry Butler on Oct 31, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph J. Levitt, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lisa A. Shirley Akins.

Attorneys 2:

Melanie E. Davis, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kimberly Van Floyd.

Martha Meares, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donna Kay Helms.

Judge(s): SUSANO

This case concerns a dispute involving Lisa Akins, Kimberly Floyd, and Donna Helms, the three daughters of Eldon Shirley (the deceased). The initial dispute regards a deed from the deceased to Akins, reserving a life estate. Prior to the execution of the deed, the deceased executed a power of attorney appointing Akins as his attorney-in-fact. Thereafter, Floyd filed this action to set aside the deed on the ground of undue influence. She also alleged that Akins converted other assets of the deceased. Helms later filed an intervening complaint adopting the allegations in Floyd’s complaint. Helms prayed that the real property deeded to Akins be declared a resulting and/or constructive trust. Akins filed a counterclaim alleging that Helms was indebted to her. Akins asked the court to compel Helms to file an accounting of the funds in dispute. The trial court bifurcated the trial. It first heard the undue influence claim. The court held that the deed was procured by the undue influence of Akins. The second stage of the trial involved the status of other assets and accounts. The court determined that specific payments to Helms were loans. The court found that other payments to and charges made by Helms involved no promise to repay and were gifts or payments for the care of the deceased. Akins appeals. We affirm.