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Succession of Gassiott

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

February 4, 2015

SUCCESSION OF CECIL VANDERBILT GASSIOTT

As Amended April 2, 2015.

APPEAL FROM THE THIRTY-THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT. PARISH OF ALLEN, NO. P-2013-071. HONORABLE PATRICIA C. COLE, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Scott Westerchil, Attorney at Law, Leesville, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Patricia Gassiott.

Chad B. Guidry, Attorney at Law, Kinder, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Jason Gassiott, Redena Gassiott Droddy.

Court composed of Jimmie C. Peters, Marc T. Amy, and Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.

OPINION

Page 522

[14-1019 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] SHANNON J. GREMILLION, J.

The children of decedent, Cecil Vanderbilt Gassiott, appeal the trial court's judgment finding that his wife, Patricia Gassiott, did not have to reimburse decedent's estate for $77,768.83. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Cecil and Patricia were married at the time of Cecil's death on June 21, 2013. They executed a prenuptial agreement in May 2004, providing for a separate property regime. Cecil died testate, having executed a will on January 25, 2008. In April 2010, Cecil recovered funds from a medical malpractice lawsuit. Cecil deposited one-half of the proceeds into a separate checking account and the other half in a joint savings account shared by Cecil and Patricia. On June 17, 2013, Patricia withdrew the balance of the joint savings account, totaling $77,768.83.

Cecil's children, Jason Gassiott and Redena Droddy, filed a rule to show cause seeking the return of the $77,768.83 withdrawn by Patricia. Following an April 30, 2014 bench trial, the trial court found that the money in the savings account was for Patricia's benefit, and the estate was not due reimbursement of the $77,768.83. The children now appeal.

ISSUES

1. Appellant contends that the Trial Judge erred or abused her discretion in finding that the decedent had capacity to effectuate a donation inter vivos at the time of the $77,768.83 withdrawal.
2. The Trial Judge erred or abused her discretion in finding that the subject withdrawal met the formal requirements to ...

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