Precedent is an important part of law –including estate law.
Why should you care about a court ruling from 110 years ago?
Because of the American judicial system, it could still affect you or your family.
In estate planning?
Yes. In estate planning.
According to The (Chattanooga) Times Free Press article titled “Attorneys: Tennessee Supreme Court nudged to reconsider 110-year-old case,” several heirs of the CEO for Astec Industries maybe directly affected.
What makes this rule important?
When the Cowan decision was made by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1906, the ruling left descendants who were excluded from a previous will powerless to contest the probated will.
Five adopted children of CEO J. Don Brock were removed at various times from previous wills.
They are contesting the will, claiming manipulation by their stepmother.
Cowan—a ruling last upheld in 1966—may block their ability to win their case.
Their attorney is asking for the court to reexamine the practical application of Cowan.
How the court chooses to apply this rule will affect the appeal of these five siblings and the fate of the Brock inheritance.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: (Chattanooga) Times Free Press (November 12, 2016) “Attorneys: Tennessee Supreme Court nudged to reconsider 110-year-old case”