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Succession of Schexnayder v. Schexnayder

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

May 30, 2018

SUCCESSION OF THELMA CARRICK SCHEXNAYDER, THROUGH ITS DULY CONSTITUTED EXECUTOR, ELWOOD L. SCHEXNAYDER, ELWOOD L. SCHEXNAYDER, INDIVIDUALLY, DOUGLAS B. SCHEXNAYDER, NANCY SCHEXNAYDER
v.
BRUCE SCHEXNAYDER AND MARK SCHEXNAYDER

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. CHARLES, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 76, 842, DIVISION "D" HONORABLE M. LAUREN LEMMON, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, SUCCESSION OF THELMA CARRICK SCHEXNAYDER Steven F. Griffith, Sr.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, BRUCE SCHEXNAYDER AND MARK SCHEXNAYDER Mark D. Plaisance

          Panel composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Stephen J. Windhorst, and Hans J. Liljeberg

          STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE

         AFFIRMED

         SJW

         FHW

         HJL

         In this appeal, appellants/defendants, Bruce Schexnayder and Mark Schexnayder, challenge a district court judgment nullifying a land donation based on fraud and awarding damages and attorney fees to appellees/plaintiffs, Succession of Thelma Carrick Schexnayder, through its executor, Elwood Schexnayder, Elwood Schexnayder, individually and Nancy Schexnayder. Having considered the evidence, testimony, pleadings and all other parts of the record, we affirm the trial court's judgment for the foregoing reasons.

         Factual Background

         This appeal involves the Succession of Thelma Carrick Schexnayder (hereinafter referred to as "Thelma" or the "mother"), who was married to Elwood L. Schexnayder (hereinafter referred to as "Elwood" or the father") (also collectively referred to the "parents") until her death. They were married for sixty-eight (68) years, and had five children, Douglas, Nancy, Bruce, Mark and Kevin. During their marriage, Thelma managed all of the couple's financial affairs, and was very careful in her financial decision making. In 1996, both Thelma and Elwood executed wills leaving their entire estate to the other upon death.

         During Thelma's life, her mother donated to her several acres of land in Virginia. Beginning in 2008, Thelma's son, Mark, began asking his mother to donate the Virginia property to him. In 2009 and 2010, Thelma donated 2.0 acres and 4.4 acres, respectively, to Mark. A few years before Thelma's death, Bruce began urging his parents, Thelma and Elwood, to seek estate planning advice, but they did not heed his advice.

         In late April 2012, Thelma suffered a debilitating stroke, after which she required extensive rehabilitation. She lived in a rehabilitation center for about a month, and during this time, she executed a power of attorney to Elwood dated May 6, 2012, authorizing him to manage her personal and medical affairs and to donate property. According to appellants, because of their mother's health issues, they were routinely urging their parents to consider divesture options so that their mother would be eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid. Several emails between Thelma and Elwood's sons, Bruce, Mark and Douglas, indicate that ...


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