Texas Fiduciary Litigator: Court Holds That Trust Owned Mineral Interests And Not The Settlor’s Wife (October 22, 2021)

David Fowler Johnson, in his Texas Fiduciary Litigator Blog, discusses Moore v. Estate of Moore and a wife’s claim to an interest in her deceased husband’s oil and gas lease. The article begins as follows:

In Moore v. Estate of Moore, a decedent’s wife claimed that she had an interest in an oil and gas lease formerly owned by her deceased husband. No. 07-20-00019-CV, 2021 Tex. App. LEXIS 6142 (Tex. App.—Amarillo July 30, 2021, no pet. history). The decedent’s children were the trustees of a trust that was the residuary beneficiary of the decedent’s will. If the decedent still owned the mineral interests at the time of his death, the trust would inherit that interest. After the decedent died, the wife and the trustees settled their dispute and entered into a settlement agreement that provided: “The Parties agree that each shall keep and own such real and personal property as they currently possess without any challenge of any other party.” Id. Later, the trustees sued the wife, alleging she breached her contractual duty to transfer the mineral interest to the trust, was liable under a theory of money had and received, and breached her fiduciary duties. After a jury trial, the trial court entered a judgment for the trustees, and held that the mineral interest belonged to the trust. The wife appealed.

The court of appeals affirmed. The court disagreed with the wife’s argument that the settlement agreement meant that the mineral interest belonged to her:

To see the full article, click: “Court Holds That Trust Owned Mineral Interests And Not The Settlor’s Wife”

Posted by Bennett Mansour, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal

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