Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Scott A. Brister, Justice Harriet O'Neill
John Kappus v. Sandra L. Kappus
from Anderson County and the 12th District Court of Appeals, Tyler
For petitioner: Logan Odeneal, Dallas
For respondent: Richard E. Swift Jr., Palestine
Principal issues are (1) whether an independent executor appointed by the trial court should be removed because the executor co-owns property with the estate the amount of which is subject to dispute and (2) whether the court of appeals erred by removing the executor as trustee of a testamentary trust. Sandra Kappus, the ex-wife of John Kappusís dead brother, sued on behalf of her sons. She claims that John Kappusís intended equal distribution of sale proceeds from a farm John and his brother jointly owned did not account for improvements the brother made to the property when they were married. After the brotherís death, his will transferred his interest in the farm to a trust for his sons. The trial court calculated the share of proceeds due the trust at slightly less than 59 percent, instead of 50 percent, but refused to remove John Kappus as trustee because he jointly owned property with the trust. The court of appeals affirmed the trial courtís calculation but removed Kappus as trustee because his adverse claim to the property created a conflict of interest.
The first argument begins at 9 a.m. in the courtroom in Austin. Each side will have 20 minutes for argument.
This advisory serves only as an abbreviated guide to oral argument. Summaries are prepared by the Courtís staff attorney for public information and reflect his judgment alone on facts and legal issues and in no way represent the Courtís opinion about case merits.
Texas Supreme Court advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy,
Staff Attorney for Public Information
(512) 463.1441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org