Children of deceased woman convinced her to change will, court documents say

Kelly Holleran Nov. 30, 2012, 11:08am

A Jefferson County man claims his relatives are attempting to take money that is rightfully his by changing his mother’s will. 

Jerry J. Norris filed a lawsuit Nov. 20 in Jefferson County District Court against Kaleb Joseph Norris and Jan Norris Shavers.

In his lawsuit, Jerry Norris claims he was supposed to receive 67 percent of the money his mother, Connie Gynell Norris, had saved in a Merrill Lynch account. Kaleb Norris was supposed to receive 33 percent of it upon her death and Jerry Norris was also supposed to receive 70 percent of the funds in a Phoenix annuity. Her grandsons Josh and Jason Rodrigues would each receive 15 percent.

However, on March 14, Kaleb Norris and Shavers drove Connie Norris to Merrill Lynch’s offices so she could change the beneficiaries on her account, according to the complaint.

Under the modifications made to the account, Kaleb Norris and Shavers would equally split the money in the two accounts between themselves, the suit states.

The plaintiff alleges they also convinced Connie Norris to change the Phoenix account so that each would receive a 50 percent share, the complaint says.

Jerry Norris claims such alterations are not valid because his mother had Alzheimer’s disease and was confused in the months leading up to her death.

“At the time of the execution of the beneficiary designations in 2012, Ms. Norris lacked the capacity to enter into a contract in that decedent did not understand the nature and consequences of her acts and the business she was transacting,” the suit states.

Jerry Norris seeks a judgment from the court that Connie Norris lacked the capacity to execute the beneficiary designation in 2012 and that the changes to Connie Norris’s account beneficiaries were the result of undue influence.

He seeks actual damages, an order that any transfer of money from Connie Norris’s accounts into Kaleb Norris’s accounts be rendered void and a judgment that any changes made to Connie Norris’s beneficiary designations between 2009 through 2012 be void.

Jerry Norris also seeks exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, pre- and post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Terry W. Wood of Beaumont will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District court.

Case No. A193-623

More News