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IN THE MATTER OF THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF DIMPLE POLK, DECEASED: MRS. TEXIE LEE v. ESTATE OF DIMPLE POLK

NOVEMBER 05, 1986

IN THE MATTER OF THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF DIMPLE POLK, DECEASED: MRS. TEXIE LEE
v.
ESTATE OF DIMPLE POLK, DECEASED



BEFORE HAWKINS, P.J., PRATHER AND ROBERTSON, JJ.

PRATHER, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Chancery Court of Hinds County wherein the chancellor found the last will and testament of Dimple Polk, deceased to be valid. The contestant was the decedent's mother; siblings of the half-blood and decedent's father were made parties. The only

appellant here is Mrs. Texie Lee, mother of the deceased, alleging the following as error:

 The chancellor erred in holding that the purported will of Dimple Polk, deceased, was not procured by undue influence.

 I.

 Dimple Polk, a resident of Jackson, Mississippi died August 1, 1983, leaving an estate valued at $277,000. In a will executed July 8, 1983, Dimple Polk left all her property, real, personal and mixed, to her sister, Dorothy Polk, except for bequests of monetary amounts to half-sisters and half-brothers. The estate of this decedent, a large part, came from oil interests given to the decedent by her father.

 Dimple and Dorothy Polk were born to Zelus P. Polk and Texie Polk (Lee). The parents divorced when the girls were quite young and Texie Lee remarried having five children in her second marriage.

 Dorothy Polk married Lawrence Polk and lived in California. Dimple Polk never married and lived and worked in Jackson most of her life. Dimple temporarily moved to California and spent weekends with her sister Dorothy while being treated for emotional depression.

 During treatment in 1976, Dimple Polk was found to be emotionally stable. The doctor prescribed some relaxants for her but Dimple had not received treatment since 1977.

 After Dimple moved back to Mississippi, she moved into a home with her mother, paying $35.00 per month room and board. Mrs. Lee sold her home to her son and moved into a home purchased by Dimple. Dimple continued to live with Mrs. Lee until her death - over some twenty years.

 In 1982 Dimple contracted cancer and was in remission, after surgery, until early 1983. In late June, 1983, Dimple visited with her cousin, Dr. Charles Allen in Pascagoula. Dimple frequently confided with Dr. Allen in procuring second opinions on all her medical problems. Dr. Allen recognized that the cancer was no longer in remission and that Dimple had only a short while to live. He called Dimple's sister, Dorothy, in California to inform her about Dimple's conditions. Dorothy Polk arrived in Mississippi on July 4.

 On July 7, Dimple and Dorothy drove to visit Dr. Allen. While there, Dr. Allen was discussing the execution of his

 own will with Dimple. Dimple, who knew no attorneys in Jackson (as per Allen's testimony) asked Allen to arrange a meeting with his lawyer to execute her will. Allen called a lawyer with whom he was acquainted. Dorothy, Dr. Allen and Dimple went to her office. Dr. Allen waited at the secretary's office, but Dimple asked that Dorothy sit in the room with her while talking to the attorney. According to the attorney and Dorothy, Dorothy was not involved in the conversation concerning the bequests and only at one point did Dorothy ask from where she would get the cash to pay the bequests. The attorney, another witness, and Dimple executed the will in the privacy of the attorney's office. The attorney testified that Dimple demonstrated no signs of illness or mental incapacity at the time.

 Dimple and her sister Dorothy returned to Jackson; Dorothy had possession of the will. Sometime thereafter, Dimple and Dorothy obtained access to most of Dimple's insurance policies and accounts in ...


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