The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton—What’s Not So New in Will Drafting and Contests

In his Wealth Strategies Journal article, “The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton-What’s Not So New in Will Drafting and Contests,” partner Terry Franklin tells the story of his fourth great-grandfather, John Sutton, a white farmer in Jacksonville, Florida, who owned and had a love relationship with his fourth great-grandmother, Lucy, a “mulatto slave.” John created a will in 1846 that emancipated Lucy and her eight children and her six grandchildren. Mr. Franklin retraces the path to his discovery of the will, and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. He relates the issues of drafting to current-day potential problems and how the facts of an estate planning meeting can play out at trial.

The material in this article was originally prepared for the 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law, and published by LexisNexis.

Read the full article here.