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Will Contest

Colley v. Estate of Sara Dees, [Ms. 1170042, June 15, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018).

This decision by Chief Justice Stuart affirms a judgment entered by Pike Circuit Court on a jury verdict in a will contest upholding the validity of the will.

The contestant argued that the circuit court erred in refusing to grant her motion for judgment as a matter of law at the close of the plaintiff [contestant]’s evidence. The Court rejected this contention holding that “to the extent Colley [contestant] is arguing that Stephens and Dees’s estate were required to refute, with medical evidence, the evidence he put forth of Dees’s incompetency, he is incorrect.” Ms. *14. The Court pointed to evidence presented by the estate from various friends, neighbors, and acquaintances of the testator who testified that she was alert and mentally competent during the period in which she executed the contested will as providing substantial evidence of the testator’s competence. Ms. *16.

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