Oral arg. – COA – June 2, 2016

 

At 1:30 the Court of Appeals will hear the case of Yvonne Marlene Weirich v. Gary David Murchison.  It involves allegations of undue influence with regard to an estate.

Clarence E. Murchison, Jr. had  two sons and two daughters.  He died in 2013.   Clarence owned five parcels of property in Walthall, Pearl River and Lamar Counties.  As early as 1988, Clarence suffered some strokes and in September 2010,  his son Gary began helping Clarence with his financial and business affairs by  helping Clarence pay bills, driving him on errands, and taking him to doctors’ appointments. In 2011, Gary and Clarence set up two joint accounts at Hancock Bank and Trustmark Bank  where all of Clarence’s retirement income would be deposited.  On March 2, 2011, Gary drafted a Will which left all real property Clarence owned to the four children equally.  Gary also prepared a General Durable Power of Attorney and a Power of Attorney for Healthcare on that same date, which Clarence executed. Five days after execution of the Will and Power of Attorney, Clarence had another trans-ischemic attack. After this attack, Clarence was diagnosed with dementia and began taking medication for same.  In late 2011, Clarence’s wife passed away.  Clarence purchased a house close to Gary’s residence but ended up moving in Gary and his wife, Debbie.

In  November 2012, Clarence had  a full stroke.   Twelve days after he was released from the hospital,  Gary drove Clarence to the office of Attorney Buddy McDonald in Picayune to discuss the division of property. The next day Clarence signed five deeds involving four pieces of property  dividing them among his children.   On December 29, 2012, Clarence was again admitted to the hospital after another stroke and he passed away on January 14, 2013.  The daughters’ challenged the deeds and asked them to be set aside as the result of undue influence.  The chancellor denied relief (her opinion here)  finding that Clarence had the benefit of independent counsel when he signed the deeds.

The daughters’ (Yvonne Weirich and Karen Murchison)  brief

Gary Murchison’s brief

The daughters’ reply brief

Watch the argument here

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