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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Beverly Harris was partners with her son-in-law, Richard Cole, in a marina, restaurant and motel called Shady Glade Camp on Caddo Lake. The two had a dispute over the property, which resulted in a lawsuit and purchase of Richard’s interest by Beverly’s husband, Dallas. In settling the lawsuit, Beverly wrote a will and filed a “Stipulation of Ownership” with Dallas. The will specifically referred to the stipulation of ownership, described Shady Glade and stated that “together with all additions thereto and substitutions thereof” it would be devised to her son Rodney and any trust created for the benefit of her other son, Cy Rickey. The will went on to “specifically exclude” Beverly’s daughter Bebe, married to Richard, “due to the difficulties I have previously experienced with her husband,” Another provision in Beverly’s will disposed of her remaining property in a residuary clause, with proceeds first going to Dallas, and then one-third each to Bebe, Rodney and Bebe and Rodney together as co-trustees of a trust for Cy Rickey. The stipulation of ownership described the Shady Glade property in detail and stated that Beverly and Dallas each owned half of the property. In April 1999, Beverly and Dallas sold their interest to Shady Glade to a third party in exchange for a $150,000 promissory note. Beverly died in 2001. At the time, $138,000 remained on the note. Dallas became executor of Beverly’s estate. Rodney died soon after Beverly, and his wife, Libby Hines, became the executrix of his estate. Dallas filed a petition in trial court for a declaration of ademption: that the Shady Glade property had been adeemed and any bequest regarding it could not be fulfilled. Libby challenged the petition, saying that Beverly’s devise of Shady Grove to Rodney in her will also contemplated proceeds from its sale. She said she was entitled to her share of the proceeds due under the promissory note. The trial court agreed with Libby. The trial court found Beverly’s will was unambiguous and the property had not been adeemed. He divided the interest of the promissory note between Libby and Bebe, as trustee for Cy Rickey. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The court reviews the will to see if it is unambiguous and clearly shows Beverly’s intent. “When a specific devise of realty is adeemed because the testator sold it before his or her death, absent a contrary intent expressed in the will, the beneficiaries of the realty under the will are not entitled to the sale proceeds; instead, the proceeds pass under the residuary clause. . . . The doctrine of ademption applies only to specific bequests and devises.” The court finds that Beverly’s will reveals a clear intent to devise Shady Glade to her sons as a specific asset, noting the specific description of it and that it was her only piece of property to have been singled out. In addition, the will indicates Beverly’s intent for her sons to receive Shady Glad as an item, rather than cash or other property from her general estate. Therefore, the devise of the Shady Glade property was a specific one, subject to ademption. Though Libby contends that the phrase in the devise specifically provides for the proceeds from the sale of Shady Glade, the court finds no prior cases interpreting the word “substitution,” for instance, and no plain or ordinary meaning of the phrase. The court finds the phrase is reasonably susceptible to more than one meaning � it could allow for any substitute for Shady Glade, including proceeds from its sale, or it could include only additions or substitutions to the real or personal property comprising Shady Glade, but not the proceeds from a sale. Furthermore, Beverly’s statement that her purpose in devising Shady Glade to her sons was so that Richard wouldn’t have any interest or control over the property could also be interpreted more than one way to support or refute an intent to allow for the property to be sold. It could mean that Beverly didn’t want her daughter or Richard to have any benefit from the property, or it could mean she just didn’t want them engaged in the management or operation of the place as a business. With more than one possible meaning to the various phrases, the court finds the will is patently ambiguous and so considers extrinsic evidence to figure out whether Beverly’s intent was to include proceeds from the possible future sale of Shady Glade in the devise to her two sons. Two affidavits � one from Dallas, and one from Beverly’s attorney � clearly show Beverly did not intend to sell Shady Glade, and that the “substitution” referred to was not a reference to proceeds from its possible future sale. Furthermore, Beverly wanted to exclude Richard from managing the property, not to prohibit him and Bebe from any possible benefits of the property. The property is adeemed, the court concludes. OPINION:Ross, J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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