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IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF EMANUEL VARVARIS, DECEASED STEVEN EMANUEL VARVARIS v. MIKE KOUNTOURIS

MAY 18, 1988

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF EMANUEL VARVARIS, DECEASED STEVEN EMANUEL VARVARIS
v.
MIKE KOUNTOURIS, JEAN KOUNTOURIS AND ANTHONY TATTIS



BEFORE HAWKINS, P.J.; ROBERTSON AND ZUCCARO, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

This is round three of the fight between two Jacksonians of Greek ancestry for title to property once held by their late father on the Isle of Patmos. Rounds one and two resulted in remands to the Chancery Court for further consolidated proceedings regarding the validity of a 1981 will and the effect of Greek law on a power of attorney. The revelations made available to the Court from this round are

 far more modest than those perceived by St. John the Divine in his sojourn upon the Isle of Patmos, as the case "cometh with clouds." Though we had hoped at this point to announce the Alpha and Omega of this dispute, discretion suggests something less. We affirm.

 II.

 Notwithstanding its biblical heritage, the Greek Isle of Patmos has become a resort and tourist attraction. During his lifetime Emanuel Stavros Varvaris owned a piece of Patmos. Emanuel died in Hinds County on June 30, 1981, at the age of eighty or thereabouts, leaving two children who are our disputants: Jean Kountouris (Mrs. Mike Kountouris) and Steven Varvaris, whose wife is Estelle Varvaris.

 Our background details may be found in our prior opinions. See In Re Will and Estate of Varvaris, 477 So.2d 273 (Miss.1985) ("Varvaris I"); and Kountouris v. Varvaris, 476 So.2d 599 (Miss.1985) ("Varvaris II"). These need not be repeated here except in the most cursory fashion.

 The legal contest concerns the validity and enforceability of three instruments of private law. The first is Emanuel Varvaris' November 30, 1966, will under which Jean Kountouris would take the Patmos Island property. The second is a February 20, 1981, will under which Steven Varvaris would take. Neither of these instruments would pass title, however, if a September 11, 1980, general power of attorney executed by Emanuel Varvaris was sufficient in law to empower Mike Kountouris to convey the property to his wife Jean.

 On this latter point, we held in Varvaris II, that the power of attorney was ineffective to empower Kountouris to convey interest in lands in Mississippi. As the property at issue is situated within the Republic of Greece, we remanded for consideration of whether the instrument contained legal power under Greek law. In the will contest, we remanded for trial of the factual issue of whether the 1981 will was the product of undue influence by Steven Varvaris.

 On remand, the validity and enforceability of all three instruments was fully litigated. The Chancery Court, via final judgment entered July 16, 1986

 (1) held that the last will and testament of Emanuel Varvaris dated November 30, 1966, was the true and valid will of the testator;

 (2) held that the last will and testament of Emanuel Varvaris dated February 20, 1981, was void and of no effect for the reason that it was procured through the undue influence of Steven Varvaris upon the testator; and

 (3) dismissed Steven Varvaris' attack on the power of attorney on grounds that it will have to be resolved by the courts of the Republic of Greece under Greek law.

 The net effect of all this is that Jean Varvaris Kountouris gets the Patmos Island property. Not ...


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