Vanderbilt Law Review


W. J. Bowe

First Page



Execution of Wills:

Under the Tennessee Code a will valid at the place of execution is valid under the laws of Tennessee. A testator domiciled in Tennessee executed a will in Mississippi in the presence of two witnesses, but thinking that the will should be acknowledged by a notary public rather than subscribed by the witnesses, he had the acknowledgment taken by a Mississippi notary public. As the Mississippi statute is peculiar in that it merely requires "that the Will shall be attested by two or more credible witnesses" rather than the usual "shall be both attested and subscribed" the court held that the will was properly admitted to probate in Tennessee since the less rigid Mississippi requirements had been fulfilled.

Deeds as Wills:

It is well settled that an instrument in the form of a deed may be admitted to probate as the will of the grantor if it was signed and properly attested and subscribed by at least two witnesses, and if the grantor intended it to become operative only upon his death. Thus a deed granting "Blackacre to A from and after my death" may be admitted to probate. In Howell v. Davis H and W were tenants by the entirety of certain real property. W executed a warranty deed to her husband expressly reserving a life estate. The deed specified "said conveyance to take effect at the death" of W. The deed was accepted and recorded. Subsequently, H died and W thereafter attempted to convey the land, again reserving a life estate. This latter conveyance was held a nullity as she had in fact no transferable interest beyond her life estate.