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In re Estate of Peery

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 21, 2018

IN RE ESTATE OF ANDREW THOMAS PEERY, JR.

          Session: October 19, 2017

          Appeal from the General Sessions Court for Blount County No. P-01934 Michael A. Gallegos, Judge

         The brother of a decedent filed a petition to admit to probate a purported holographic will. The decedent's widow protested. After a hearing, the trial court ruled that the document was not a holographic will and that the decedent had died intestate. The brother appeals. We affirm.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the General Sessions Court Affirmed; Case Remanded

          J. Lewis Kinnard, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellant John Wayne Peery.

          John M. Jackson, III, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Martha Peery.

          John W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Thomas R. Frierson, II, J., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN W. MCCLARTY, JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         Andrew Thomas Peery, Jr. ("the Decedent" or "Tom"), died on January 17, 2016. A brother, John Wayne Peery ("Wayne") filed a petition to admit to probate a purported holographic will of the Decedent's. The Decedent's widow objected, and this action resulted.

         The case was tried on November 1, 2016. Wayne testified that he owns half of the real property at issue, which is the site of the old family home place. The other half was owned by the Decedent. The total size of the property is approximately 332 acres.

         Regarding the purported holographic will, Wayne, his brother Glen Peery, and Wayne's son, John Peery, all members of the family farming business, testified at trial that Tom had delivered the document to Wayne in 1992[1] shortly after it was prepared and that the handwriting was that of the Decedent. Wayne noted that he had retained the document for 24 years until after the Decedent's death. The document relates as follows:

Nov. 13, 1992
After my death I A.T. (Tom) Perry, Jr. give to Wayne Peery or his son John Peery an option too (sic) buy my share of the Farm located in the 12 District of Blount County for the Price of one dollar. The reason I have done this, he has never charged me any rent on his share of the Farm and has ...

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