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Estate of Williams v. Loveless

Supreme Court of Alabama

September 14, 2018

Estate of Ray Wendell Williams
v.
Kimberly Loveless

          Appeal from Randolph Circuit Court (CV-15-39)

          STUART, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         The estate of Ray Wendell Williams appeals the judgment of the Randolph Circuit Court ordering it to make a monthly payment of $1, 000 to Williams's daughter Kimberly Loveless pursuant to a provision in Williams's will directing WTW Enterprises, Inc. ("WTW"), a trucking business operated by Williams before his death, to commence paying Loveless a monthly salary of "no less than $1, 000" upon his death. We dismiss the appeal.

         I.

         On July 17, 2015, Williams died in Roanoke; he was survived by his second wife Kathy Williams ("Kathy") and her son Jeff Mitchell, as well as by Loveless, the only child of his first marriage to Sheila Boyd. During his lifetime, Williams had operated WTW with assistance from Kathy and Mitchell, and "Item Seven" of his will provided as follows regarding his wishes for WTW following his death:

"I am the owner of the stock of [WTW]. My wife, Kathy, and her son, [Mitchell], are currently employed there. I bequeath 51 percent of my stock in [WTW] to my wife, Kathy, 24.5 percent of my stock in WTW to my daughter [Loveless], and 24.5 percent of my stock in WTW to Jeff Mitchell. This conveyance of stock to these three individuals is subject to the following restrictions and directives:
"(1) I direct that the maximum salary which may be paid to Kathy by WTW in any year shall not exceed $75, 000.
"(2) I direct that the salary paid to her son, [Mitchell], in any year shall not exceed the sum of $60, 000.
"(3) I further direct that neither my wife, Kathy, nor her son, [Mitchell], be paid any bonus above their salary which would diminish the net income available for distribution to my wife, Kathy, and my daughter, [Loveless].
"(4) I direct that my daughter, [Loveless], be paid no less than $1, 000 salary per month by WTW.[1]
"(5) Each year, after all salaries and expenses have been paid, should the parties not have a specific need for expansion of the business, I direct that the net income after payment of all expenses and taxes shall be paid to the stockholders according to their respective interests in the company.
"Payment of this dividend, if any, should be done within 45 days after completion of all calculations sufficient to allow the net income of the business to be determined.
"(6) I direct that should either Kathy or [Loveless] desire to sell all or any portion of their stock interest in WTW the same shall first be offered to the other owner before being sold to an outside third party. Any such sale of the stock by either Kathy or [Loveless] should result in the stock being sold for its fair market value."

         In accordance with Item Seven of the will, WTW commenced making $1, 000 monthly payments to Loveless ...


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