In the Matter of the Estate of JOHN L. TAYLOR, Deceased.
EZEKIEL B. TAYLOR and EZEKIEL B. TAYLOR, as Administrator of the Estate of JOHN L. TAYLOR, Deceased, Appellees BERNARD C. BLACK, Appellant,
APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of the County of Yavapai. Richard Lamson, Judge. Order affirmed.
Messrs. Wilson, Compton & Wilson, for Appellant.
Messrs. O'Sullivan & Morgan and Mr. E. C. Locklear, for Appellees.
[56 Ariz. 212] LOCKWOOD, J.
John L. Taylor, hereinafter called deceased, died on the 4th of February, 1939, leaving surviving as heirs at law thirteen nieces and nephews and two children of a deceased niece. The illness of which he finally died commenced about January 10, 1939, at which time he moved to the home of one of his nephews, Bernard C. Black, where he was confined until the time of his death. On Sunday, January 29th, deceased told one Butler, in the presence of two other witnesses, that he desired to make a will, and requested that Butler go to Flagstaff and have C. B. Wilson, his attorney, prepare a form of written will, full details of which had been given to Butler. In accordance with these instructions, Butler did go to Flagstaff, had the will drawn, and on Monday, January 30th, returned to the home of Black, where deceased was confined, with the form of will as drawn. Evidently the parties knew that Taylor was in a very weakened condition for the will was prepared in such a manner that he might, if he desired, sign it by making his mark. For some reason, although the will was at the Black place on Monday, it was not presented to deceased for his signature until Friday.
The foregoing facts are undisputed. In addition, the following evidence appears in the record. At that time Butler, his wife and their daughter, Bessie Carlisle, being present, the following conversation, according to Mrs. Carlisle, occurred:
"Well, my dad said 'Uncle John, I have these papers here that you wanted fixed,' and he said 'all right.' He said 'I would like to have Bessie read them,' and I took them and read them to him and took my time and read them pretty slowly and asked him if he understood and he said he did, and when I finished reading [56 Ariz. 213] them why he made an effort to sign them and he tried to move his hands and he didn't seem to able to, so I just walked over and kind of pushed the covers back, and he still could not raise his hands, so he just says, 'I am too weak. I can't sign it, but that is my will and I want you to be witnesses. I want you, Mr. Butler, to see that it goes that way.'
"Q. What was the last part of your answer as I did not get it?
"The court: Will you try to speak a little louder?
"The witness: I want you to see, Mr. Butler, that it goes that way."
Butler and his wife testified, respectively as follows:
"Q. When he wanted you or asked you to witness what he wanted done he wanted you to witness this ...