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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Patricia Raye Halbert died in 2000. She left behind three putative wills and her immediate family � husband, Robert L. Halbert (Robert), and three adult children, Robert Stephen Halbert (Steve), Judith H. Trickey Box (Box), and Patti Jane H. Carroll (Carroll) � divided on which of the three wills should be probated. Robert urged the probate of will three, while Judy urged the probate of will two. Ultimately, the dispute led to a mediation and a partial mediated settlement agreement (MSA), which is the subject of this appeal. In competing motions for summary judgment, Box sought to enforce, and Robert sought to have declared unenforceable, the MSA. The trial court granted Box’s motion for summary judgment to enforce the MSA and denied Robert’s motion. HOLDING:The court reverses the judgment of the trial court and renders judgment that the MSA is unenforceable. The court holds that the MSA is an agreement not to probate a will. Such an agreement must provide an alternative distribution scheme. Because the MSA does not provide an alternative distribution scheme the court concludes that it is unenforceable. The parties purportedly entered into the MSA to “to settle the above-referenced cause,” meaning the pending will contest. That is, the court states, the parties are attempting to settle their differences over the distribution of Patricia’s estate. And the court finds that Box’s agreement to dismiss her claims in the will contest and to release any claim against her mother’s estate are the equivalent of abandoning her application to probate will two, and relinquishing any right she might have asserted under will two. The court finds that the MSA certainly invokes the family-settlement doctrine because it necessarily involves an agreement, by at least one of the parties, to not probate at least one will, altering the distribution of the estate. Reading the MSA, the court finds that there is an agreement not to probate a will. In fact, the court states that there are several agreements not to probate a will but that it is just unclear which will, if any, would be probated ultimately. The court finds that the uncertainties, however, are more relevant to the second element of the family-settlement doctrine: that the agreement also provide an alternate plan of distribution of estate property. The court finds that the MSA leaves open a number of possible, but unclear, ways the estate might be distributed if the MSA were enforced. The court concludes that the parties, in the MSA, did not agree to distribute Patricia’s estate in a manner consistent with will one. The court next hypothesizes that intestate succession could be a logical reading of the MSA, since all parties agree to dismiss their claims in the will contest action. But the court declines to imply such an agreement to distribute the estate in this manner because such a plan was “not so clearly within the contemplation of [the parties] that they deemed it unnecessary to express it.” Therefore, the court concludes that the MSA leaves enough uncertainties that it fails to satisfy the rather stringent requirements of the family-settlement doctrine that an agreement provide an alternate plan for distributing estate property. OPINION:Morriss, C.J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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