WACO, Texas (KWTX) – State songs songwriting icon Billy Joe Shaver, the self-styled “old chunk of coal,” predicted in a person of his most well-liked tunes that “I’m gonna be a diamond a person day.”
It continues to be unidentified if Shaver, a difficult-residing disciple of the Texas new music outlaw mystique, at any time accomplished the glowing “blue pure perfect” position he hoped for.
On the other hand, 18 months following Shaver’s demise, his nephew and Willie Nelson’s nephew continue to be embroiled in a hotly contested dispute more than Shaver’s estate, which involves continuing royalty checks from Shaver’s prolific songwriting job that he named his “mailbox money” and served guidance him in his later decades.
The 81-year-old Corsicana native and longtime Waco resident died in Oct 2020 at a Waco healthcare facility after suffering a stroke. He was buried at Waco Memorial Park.
McLennan County Court-at-Regulation Choose Vik Deivanayagam executed a listening to Friday morning in which Terry Dwayne Rogers, 64, of Bellmead, and Fred Fletcher, of Bastrop, who each declare to have wills in which Shaver named them sole beneficiary, are trying to get to have the other’s statements thrown out.
Shaver remaining a will in 2000 that names his sister, Patricia, as executrix and still left everything to her. That will was outdated by just one 3 years afterwards, which leaves his estate to Rogers, his sister’ son.
Both equally of these wills, and some others Shaver drafted around the yrs, were drawn up professionally by lawyer Elizabeth Miller, who died in January 2021.
Nonetheless, Fletcher, the son of Willie Nelson’s sister, Bobbie, challenged the 2003 will by filing a 2008 handwritten document in which Shaver purports to name him as his sole beneficiary.
Deivanayagam read about a hour’s worthy of of arguments from attorneys on each sides Friday and deferred a ruling on the summary judgment motions. Waco lawyer Bruce Perryman, who signifies Rogers with Waco legal professional Whitney Fanning, explained the dispute may possibly have to be made a decision by a McLennan County jury.
Fletcher, a songs producer and a previous drummer in Shaver’s band, established Arlyn Studios in Austin in 1984. It attracted best-advertising artists, like Nelson, Ray Charles and Neil Young. Fletcher and Nelson co-established Pedernales Records in 1999.
The 2008 will, which was witnessed by five other folks, together with Fletcher, leaves Fletcher with Shaver’s residence in South Waco, which was valued at $122,030 on county tax rolls at the time of his loss of life, together with his music, automobile, lender accounts and “anything of worth.”
“I want him to continue to administer all my tunes company and to hold all gains,” a duplicate of the handwritten will says.
Waco lawyer Andy McSwain, who signifies Fletcher with attorney Lauren Olivarez, told the judge that Shaver and the other individuals executed the new will in Fletcher’s Austin place of work. He explained Shaver explained to all those present he no for a longer period preferred Rogers to be his beneficiary and was glad Fletcher would go on to tackle his musical legacy.
“Our summary judgment argument and the affidavits of the witnesses establish up everything completely,” McSwain explained. “Intention, it was adequately executed, the holographic mother nature of the will, they prove up everything. The a single open issue is that it is shed and no a single is aware of exactly where the first is. We really do not have the initial of the will. “
Fletcher has claimed he saved the first will but evidently it was dropped when he moved his offices the following year. One more witness mentioned Shaver retained possession of the initial.
Perryman argued that without the need of the authentic handwritten will, it properly is revoked.
“Our posture is this duplicate is not admissible as proof,” Perryman explained. “Therefore, they have no case.”
McSwain countered by stating, “We never know the authentic will does not exist. All we know is it hasn’t been observed.”
In the different, Perryman argued, there is no proof that the copies of the doc were being not altered or that Fletcher, his relatives and the other folks did not exert undue influence on Shaver to change his will.
“Why are we to just take Mr. Fletcher’s term that he just can’t make the unique?” Perryman asked. “I think that’ s a reality concern. It could have been altered and that is why they do not want to show it to anybody. We are not being inconsistent. Mr. Fletcher is simply because he informed the court Mr. Shaver experienced the initial and someone took it out of his residence. Then he comes back again and claims, ‘No, I experienced it and I misplaced it.’ Properly, that is really c0nvenient and we believe that is a reality challenge and the jury demands to hear it.”
Affidavits from two handwriting experts hired by Rogers show that both of those observed it achievable that Shaver wrote the document. Even so, both equally discovered inconsistencies in the copy of the handwritten will and with known samples of Shaver’s writing. Both reported the document could not be authenticated thoroughly because it is a duplicate and the probability of alterations exists.
Fannin questioned why Shaver would adjust his longstanding follow of going to lawyer Miller when he desired to improve his will.
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