Simpson v. Simpson Case Brief

Summary of Simpson v. Simpson (1998), District Court of Appeals, FL, 723 So. 2d 326

Procedural posture: Appellant seeks review of an order from probate court determining certain real and personal property to be exempt from creditors.

Facts: On a fishing trip, a father orally made a gift of his gun collection to his son. Son did not arrange to pick up or move the guns from his fathers house. Father died 7 mos later. In a probate action, the trial court valuated personal property of decedent’s estate to determine exemption from the claims of creditors. The trial court also determined that the decedent had gifted guns to appellee, his son. Appellant, decedent’s ex-wife appealed from both of these determinations.

Issues: Was a valid gift made, where there is no possession taken of the gift? >No.

Did trial court err in excluding the guns from the estate? >Yes.

Holding: The appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part. Evidence was insufficient to establish a gift, and therefore, they should be included in the estate.

Rationale: There is evidence of intent, but no evidence of delivery. Gift not established.

Dissent: No dispute of fact; everyone concurs that the father gave the guns to his son. Besides, its what fathers do. Moving the gift from its storage place is not necessary to establish it as a gift.

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