SUCCESSION OF EUGENE D. LANIER
FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
LAFAYETTE, NO. P-20150823 HONORABLE THOMAS R. DUPLANTIER,
J. Messina, Todd A. Rossi, Michael J. deBarros, Kean Miller
L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT: St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital, Inc.
Hoyt, Russell B. Kahn, Jena K. Wynne, Hoyt & Stanford,
L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES: Vance E. Lanier,
Dayle C. Guillory
Richard S. Derbes Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT-APPELLEE: Eugene L. Miller
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, John D. Saunders, Billy H.
Ezell, D. Kent Savoie, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.
CANDYCE G. PERRET JUDGE
St. Jude Children's Hospital ("St. Jude"), is
appealing a trial court judgment that denied its Motion to
Traverse the Detailed Descriptive List and Opposition to the
First Annual Account in this succession proceeding. The trial
court found that the matrimonial home, located at 1829
Guillot Road in Youngsville, Louisiana ("the Guillot
Road property"), was properly placed in a Trust in 2004,
and was not an asset of the succession. For the following
reasons, we affirm the trial court judgment.
25, 2004, Eugene and Erie Lanier, as co-settlors and
co-trustees, established a revocable inter vivos
trust ("Trust"). Schedule "A" of the
Trust transfers to the Trust "[a]ll personal items,
clothing, furniture and movables of any type, belonging to
the Settlors and located within the family home, or on the
grounds, occupied by Settlors located at 1829 Guillot Road in
Youngsville, Louisiana." At that time, Mr. and Mrs.
Lanier filed an Act of Donation to the Trust in which they
donated all their immovable property located at their home at
1829 Guillot Road, Youngsville, Louisiana, to the Trust. The
Act of Donation was filed with the Lafayette Parish Clerk of
Court on November 23, 2004. Also on that date, Mr. Lanier
executed a Last Will and Testament ("2004 Will") in
statutory form that "bequeathed all of my [Mr.
Lanier's] remaining property, including property that may
constitute the legitime of a forced heir, to the Trust which
is identified above." The 2004 Will provided for the
Lanier's three children, Vicci L. Guillet, Vance E.
Lanier, and Dayle C. Guillory, to serve as co-executors of
the succession if Ms. Lanier was unable to do so.
October 11, 2011, Ms. Lanier died. Thereafter, on February
13, 2014, Mr. Lanier executed a new Last Will and Testament
("2014 Will") that provided in pertinent part:
I direct my Executor to sell all of my real and moveable
property located at 1829 Guillot Road, Youngsville, Lafayette
Parish, Louisiana, including my residence and its amenities
and furnishings (after the removal of my personal
possessions), and I give and bequeath to St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital, located in Memphis,
Tennessee, Tax ID 62-0646012, the sum of one hundred thousand
dollars ($100, 000.00) from the proceeds of such sale or
Mr. Lanier died on December 5, 2015.
succession of Mr. Lanier was opened on December 21, 2015, at
which time the court appointed Vance Lanier and Dayle
Guillory as the Independent Co-Executors
("Co-Executors") and the 2004 Will was duly
probated. On December 21, 2016, the Co-Executors filed a
"First Annual Account" and "Sworn Detailed
Descriptive List" for the period of December 21, 2015
through December 21, 2016. The descriptive list provided that
the sole asset of the succession was a 2007 Chevrolet pickup
January 4, 2017, St. Jude filed a Motion to Traverse the
Detailed Descriptive List and Opposition to the First Annual
Account Motion, seeking to have the Guillot Road property,
valued at $600, 000.00, added to the detailed descriptive
list. In support of its motion, St. Jude alleged the
following, in pertinent part:
2. On May 25, 2004, the Decedent and his wife donated all
real property located at 1829 Guillot Road in Youngsville,
Louisiana ("Home") to the Trust.
3. Article VI of the Trust, which is entitled
"Revocation And Amendment", provides that:
From and after the death of either of the original Settlors,
this Agreement, insofar as it relates to the SURVIVOR'S
TRUST, as defined herein, may be revoked or amended at any
time and from time to time by the Survivor delivering ...