Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy issued an order from the bench this week denying Terry Davis, surviving spouse of Mary Reeves Davis – formerly the husband of country music star Jim Reeves – 40 percent of the combined Reeves’ estate and enough money for one year’s support.
Horton Frank, attorney with the Luna Law Group, said Judge Kennedy orally issued the order and his office will draft the final document for the judge’s signature and file with the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. All of that is a formality; the order is final.
Kennedy’s decision comes after a long fight between Davis and the heirs of his deceased spouse. Frank wouldn’t name any of those heirs — his clients — specifically, but said other attorneys are involved representing other heirs.
“I represent only one group and there are others,” Frank said.
It can be deduced that Frank represents either the largest number of heirs or the heirs who have the most to lose in this estate battle that’s lasted 12 years now, an extraordinary length of time for an estate of any variety to be open.
Typically, an Internal Revenue Service closing letter is asked for and received at some point and administrative details are wrapped up and finalized after that letter is received and filed with the court.
“We are close to the point that we can start closing this estate out,” Frank said.
Jim Reeves died in a plane crash on July 31, 1964. He’d been flying the single engine plane when the aircraft crashed during a thunderstorm in Brentwood. Davis had been married to Mary Reeves Davis for 30 years prior to her death in 1999. The struggle for the estate's assets began immediately after Mary's passing; Davis has fought the court and the heirs since that day, unhappy with the $100,000 bequest granted him under Mary’s will.
According to reports from the Associated Press, this 12-year battle has rattled the nerves of Judge Kennedy.
"I told you after you fired your sixth lawyer that I would not practice law for you," Kennedy told Davis. "Sir, you are the architect of your own disaster."
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS