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August 18, 1998


Before Bridges, C.j., Hinkebein, Payne, And King, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j., For The Court:

Keel v. Keel, et al, 96-CA-00711-COA

ROBERT E. KEEL, APPELLANT v. THE ESTATE OF MARY JEAN KEEL, DECEASED; BEVERLY HOGAN LONDON; FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH AND FRANCES PATE, APPELLEES

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/03/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ANTHONY THOMAS FARESE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAFAYETTE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WILLS, TRUSTS AND ESTATES

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MOTION FOR DIRECTED VERDICT IN FAVOR OF PROPONENTS OF WILL GRANTED

DISPOSITION REVERSED AND REMANDED

This case involves a will contest in the Lafayette County Chancery Court. After a somewhat lengthy jury trial commencing in December 1995 and then carried over until April 1996, the chancellor granted the proponents' motion for a directed verdict. On appeal, Robert Keel, the only living survivor of the testatrix and contestant to the will, presents the following issues for this Court's consideration:

1. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN APPLYING THE BURDEN OF PROOF TO THE WRONG PARTY, THE CONTESTANT OF THE WILL, TO PROVE LACK OF DUE EXECUTION AND LACK OF TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY.

2. GENUINE ISSUES OF MATERIAL FACT EXISTED FOR RESOLUTION BY THE JURY, THEREBY MAKING IT REVERSIBLE ERROR FOR THE TRIAL COURT TO GRANT A DIRECTED VERDICT ...


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