SUCCESSION OF FRANCES ODEN YOUNGBLOOD SUCCESSION OF RAY ODEN YOUNGBLOOD SUCCESSION OF JAMES DEE YOUNGBLOOD, III
from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 551019 Honorable Craig Owen
SHELTON, WILLIAMS, BENSON & PAINE, LLC By: Lee H. Ayres
By: Stacey A. Smith Melerine By: Jacob C. White Counsel for
1st Appellant Mary Anne Youngblood Shemwell
G. COX, JR. Counsel for 2nd Appellants Patricia N. Miramon
Succession of Frances Oden Youngblood Succession of Ray Oden
Youngblood Succession of James Dee Youngblood, III American
Heart Association American Cancer Society, Inc. Patricia N.
Miramon Independent Executrix
WILLIAMS, MOORE, and STONE, JJ.
appeal arises from a trial court's judgment appointing
Mary Anne Youngblood Shemwell and Patricia N. Miramon as
co-executrices of the Succession of Frances Oden Youngblood.
For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the
trial court and remand for trial.
February 26, 2007, Frances Oden Youngblood
("Frances") and her sons, Ray Oden Youngblood
("Ray") and James Dee Youngblood, III
("James"), each executed notarial testaments.
Frances left the bulk of her estate in equal shares to her
two sons and only daughter, Mary Anne Youngblood Shemwell
("Shemwell"). Frances named James as her
independent executor; she did not name an alternative or
left his entire estate to James and named James as his
independent executor. James left his entire estate to Ray
and, in the event Ray predeceased him, James' entire
estate went to the American Heart Association and the
American Cancer Society. In a codicil to his will, James
named the family attorney, Patricia N. Miramon
("Miramon"), as his independent executrix. Miramon,
who had served as the Youngbloods' family attorney since
2006, drafted and notarized the three aforementioned wills.
died in 2011, Ray died in 2012, and James died in 2016. At
the times of their deaths, neither Ray nor James was married,
and neither of the men had children. Beginning in 2011, after
Frances' death, James gave Miramon a series of mandates
to act on his behalf as independent executor of Frances'
estate. Additionally, from 2015 until his death in March of
2016, James granted Miramon a general power of attorney,
authorizing Miramon to act with broad powers on his behalf.
October 30, 2015, Shemwell filed a petition to have James
removed as executor of Frances' succession on the grounds
that he lacked capacity. Shemwell's claims were based on
James' mental illness and/or incompetence, documented
over a period of several years.
following James' death in 2016, Shemwell filed a petition
seeking appointment as the dative independent executrix of
Frances' succession. Shemwell argued that, pursuant to
La. C.C.P. art. 3098 ("Article 3098"), she has
priority of appointment as Frances' sole remaining
legatee.Miramon subsequently answered the petition
and filed exceptions of prematurity, no right of action, and
unauthorized use of summary proceedings. In her answer,
Miramon sought appointment as the dative independent
executrix of Frances' succession.
hearing on Shemwell's petition and Miramon's
exceptions was held on January 9, 2017. The trial court,
despite repeated objections by both parties, appointed
Shemwell and Miramon as co-executrices of Frances'
succession. The trial court conceded it lacked legal
authority upon which to appoint co-executrices, but believed
its ruling was an effectual compromise to accommodate both