Reports of cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas, during part of Tyler session, 1859, Austin session, 1859, and part of Galveston session, 1860. Volume 24. Page: 444
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444 SUPREME COURT.
Millican v. Millican.
will, and at another of being indebted to her son John, one of the
"donees. Mere conjecture, founded on circumstances so slight and
inconclusive in their nature as these, can scarcely be deemed to
warrant the conclusion, that her object in making these dispositions,
was to prevent the plaintiffs from inheriting from her the
But if it was, and she made an absolute and complete disposition
of it, by donation or sale, divesting herself of the ownership,
that motive, of itself, would not be a ground for setting
aside the conveyance. The property was her's, to dispose
of as she saw proper, in her life-time. She could indulge her
partiality for a favorite child, and bestow her bounty upon him,
to the exclusion of others, if she chose to do so, by an absolute
and unqualified gift and surrender of her entire interest, to take
effect presently, in her life-time. Such a disposition could not be
set aside, as being in fraud of the statute of wills. If she parted
with the property, though with the intention of preventing the
plaintiffs from inheriting, and because she knew she could not
disinherit them by will, still, having the disposing power, the
donation, if complete and absolute, would be effectual to vest the
property in the donee, as against her, and those claiming under
her, as heirs or distributees. It could not be avoided, on the
ground that it was a testamentary disposition of the property, or
a fraud upon the statute. The deeds in question, importing an
absolute transfer of the property, the burden of proving the contrary
was on the plaintiffs; and we see nothing in the evidence
to warrant the conclusion that they were not made and delivered
with the purpose and intention, which appears upon their face,
or that they did not have the full effect and operation, to divest
the grantor of the ownership, and vest it absolutely and presently
in the donees.
This case is wanting in the material facts and circumstances,
which in the case of Crain v. Crain, attended the making the
instruments there under examination, and induced the determination
that they were wills. On the principles maintained in that
decision, and the authorities there cited, it must be held, that
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Texas. Supreme Court. Reports of cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas, during part of Tyler session, 1859, Austin session, 1859, and part of Galveston session, 1860. Volume 24., book, 1861; Philadelphia. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28550/m1/444/: accessed December 4, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .