BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, DAN LEE and PRATHER
ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
Edgar E. Smith, III appeals from a decree of the Chancery Court, Yalobusha County, establishing in favor of Hattie M. McCracken, Catherynne Furr and Thomas Perkins, as the last will and testament of Sidney Erath Perkins, deceased, an instrument presented by them. The decree also held two instruments presented by Smith as a deed and will purported to be executed by Perkins, to be invalid and void.
Hattie M. McCracken, Catherynne Furr and Thomas Perkins were the sisters and brother of Sidney Erath Perkins, who died December 13, 1979. Edgar E. Smith, III, is his great nephew. The sisters and brother are also Perkins' sole heirs-at-law.
On January 20, 1970, Perkins executed a last will and testament leaving all his property, real and personal, to the appellees. On January 26, 1977, he executed another last will and testament leaving his entire estate to appellant. On July 22, 1979, Perkins executed a will leaving all of his property to appellant, and, on August 17, 1979, Perkins signed a deed conveying to appellant two hundred twenty-five (225)
acres of land for ten dollars ($10.00) plus love and affection. On the same date, Perkins and appellant entered into a contract whereby appellant agreed to support and care for Perkins during his lifetime. On September 5, 1979, Perkins executed a contract with Howell Realty Company to sell the same property, 225 acres of land, for the price of five hundred dollars ($500.00) an acre.
Prior to, during and after the execution of the above instruments, from time to time, Perkins drew and signed approximately eight (8) other will instruments. On September 5, 1979, Perkins executed a power of attorney to appellee Hattie McCracken. On September 28, 1979, Perkins, together with appellant and another relative, filed a petition for appointment of appellant as his conservator, and an order was entered the same day on the appointment. A petition for removal of the conservator and appointment of a special guardian was filed October 22, 1979, by appellee Hattie McCracken, alleging wrongful conversion of Perkins' property.
On January 21, 1980, Perkins having died December 13, 1979, appellant filed a petition for probate of the will dated July 22, 1979, devising and bequeathing all Perkins' property to appellant. On January 23, 1980, Hattie McCracken filed a petition for probate of the will dated January 20, 1970, which devised and bequeathed all Perkins' property to the appellees. Instruments were filed by the respective parties contesting those wills. The pleadings were designated as Cause No. 80-01-07.
In this state of confusion, the chancellor consolidated the petitions involving contests of the two wills, Cause No. 80-01-07, and the conservator action, Cause No. 79-09-60, which involved the validity of the deed purportedly conveying 225 acres to appellant. The trial proceeded for the purpose of determining between the two wills which was the true last will and testament of Perkins, and whether or not the deed of conveyance was valid. After a lengthy trial, consisting of eight (8) volumes, the lower court held (1) that the deed of conveyance dated August 17, 1979, from Perkins to appellant is invalid and was cancelled as such; (2) the instrument purporting to be the last will of Perkins dated July 22, 1979, was invalid and the petition to probate the will filed by appellant was dismissed; and (3) the will instrument dated January 20, 1970, presented for probate by appellee Hattie McCracken was found to be the true last will and testament of Perkins and admitted to probate. All other matters were dismissed.
The appellant has assigned seven (7) errors in the trial below. We address only four (4) of those assignments in reaching a decision in the case.
I. DID THE LOWER COURT ERR IN FINDING THAT THE APPELLEES HAD STANDING TO CONTEST THE CONSERVATORSHIP AND THE DEED?
II. DID THE LOWER COURT ERR IN ALLOWING THE JOINDER OF THE CASES WHEREIN THE PARTIES DID NOT HAVE THE SAME INTEREST FROM CASE TO CASE?
The parties waived trial by jury and the case was heard and decided by the lower court sitting as the chancellor. There were three issues before the lower court, e.g., (1) the validity of the 225-acre deed; (2) the validity of the January 20, 1970, will; and (3) the validity of the July 22, 1979, will. The record indicates that the parties entered into the trial with the purpose in mind of resolving those three principal issues, which went to the heart of the lawsuit. The appellant and the appellees litigated their respective positions on each question which were adverse to each other. The lower court, having taken jurisdiction under the peculiar acts and circumstances of this controversy, properly proceeded to a resolution and decision involving them. ...