IN RE ESTATE OF JAMES HOOD NICHOLS - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Mar 22, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Mark A. Cowan, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellants, Richard N. Swanson and Earl Wayne Campbell.

Attorneys 2:

Eddy R. Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Connie Jane Nichols Cinder and Nan Nichols Jones.

Judge(s): SUSANO

This case involves an order by the trial court directing the personal representative of the Estate of James Hood Nichols (the Estate) to sell a portion of the real property of the Estate. James Hood Nichols (the deceased) died testate. He bequeathed annuities to his daughters, Connie Jane Nichols Cinder and Nan Nichols Jones (the beneficiaries). In the will, the deceased gave a $75,000 annuity to Connie Jane Nichols Cinder and a $50,000 annuity to Nan Nichols Jones. According to the final settlement filed by Richard N. Swanson and Earl Wayne Campbell (the co-executors), the net distributable probate estate is $8,712.01. The co-executors proposed to distribute that amount to the beneficiaries in proportion to the amount left to each beneficiary. The beneficiaries filed an objection to the proposed final settlement, asking the court to order the sale of a portion of the deceased’s real property in order to fund the annuities. Finding that the bequests to the beneficiaries are higher priority than other bequests and devises in the will, the trial court ordered the personal representative to sell a portion of the deceased’s real property sufficient to fund the annuities. The trial court also awarded the beneficiaries their attorney’s fees. The co-executors appeal. We affirm.

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