FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 58160 HONORABLE RONALD F. WARE, DISTRICT JUDGE
Winfield E. Little, Jr. Little Law Firm, COUNSEL FOR
APPELLANT: Ginger Patton
Christopher J. Guillory Christopher J. Guillory, L.L.C.,
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Julian Bruce
composed of John D. Saunders, Phyllis M. Keaty, and Jonathan
W. Perry, Judges.
J., dissents and assigns reasons.
D. SAUNDERS JUDGE
succession case, the proponent of a notarial testament
challenges the trial court's judgment declaring the
testament an absolute nullity. For the reasons that follow,
we affirm the trial court's judgment.
Blackwell Bruce (Peggy) died testate on June 15, 2018. In her
last will and testament dated November 21, 2016, Peggy named
her niece, Ginger Blackwell Patton (Ginger), as her sole
legatee and executrix of her estate. Ginger filed a petition
on June 18, 2018, to probate the will and to be appointed
executrix. On that same date, the trial court signed an order
admitting the will to probate and appointing Ginger
20, 2018, Peggy's widower, Julian Bruce (Julian), filed a
petition to annul the will and remove Ginger as executrix due
to an allegedly defective attestation clause. Specifically,
The purported Last Will and Testament of "Peggy B.
Bruce" contain[s] a fatally defective attestation clause
which reads as follows:
Signed on each page and declared by Testator, PEGGY B. BRUCE,
above named, in our presence, to be her Last Will and
Testament, and in the presence of the Testatrix and each
other, we hereunto subscribed our names on this
21stday of November 2016.
. . . .
Specifically, the attestation clause contained in the said
purported testament is fatally defective in that it:
(1) Fails to confirm or declare that Mrs. Bruce signed
"at the end" as well as "on each
other separate page"; and
(2) Fails to clearly specify that the witnesses and notary
actually witnessed Mrs. Bruce's signing of the document.
argued the attestation clause is not the same as the
declaration provided by La.Civ.Code art. ...