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In re Estate of Elmore

Supreme Court of Mississippi, En Banc

November 6, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF BOYCE ELMORE, DECEASED:
v.
CEDRIC WILLIAMS KATHLEEN ELMORE JAMISON, ADMINISTRATOR

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/06/2012.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MARSHALL COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. EDWIN H. ROBERTS, JR.

FOR APPELLANT: R. BRADLEY BEST, EDWARD RUSSELL McNEES.

FOR APPELLEE: WILLIAM F. SCHNELLER, JR.

DICKINSON, PRESIDING JUSTICE. WALLER, C.J., LAMAR, KITCHENS, CHANDLER, PIERCE, KING AND COLEMAN,JJ., CONCUR. RANDOLPH, P.J., CONCURS IN RESULT ONLY WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 701

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI

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

DICKINSON, PRESIDING JUSTICE

¶1. Boyce Elmore died on November 5, 2000. More than ten years later, Cedric Williams--claiming to be Boyce's son--filed a paternity action in an effort to recover under Boyce's estate. After the chancellor held that Cedric's action was timely, Boyce's estate appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the chancellor's decision must be reversed, but for a different reason.

ANALYSIS

¶2. In Mississippi, a nonmarital child may file an action to establish paternity " within one (1) year after the death of the intestate or within ninety (90) days after the first publication of notice to creditors to present their claims, whichever is less . . . ." [1] Boyce's estate was not opened during the year following his death, so the statute's provision related to the publication of notice to creditors is not applicable.

¶3. Two years after Boyce's death, his wife Kathleen filed a petition for letters of administration in the Marshall County Chancery Court and was named administrator of Boyce's estate. Because she failed to provide Cedric notice ...


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