Lawsuit Involving Foundation, Church Settled
By Beth Cassidy
The gifts of a Davie woman who died more than four years ago will be used for the causes about which she was passionate – her church and students.
Until recently, the distribution of those gifts was in limbo, as legal issues had arisen concerning her will.
Mary Frances Berrier died Sept. 22, 2008. Her only child, a son, Jerry, died in 1985, and her husband, Felix, known to most people as “Buck,” died in 1990.
A settlement was agreed to just prior to the case being heard in Davie Superior Court two weeks ago.
In 2004, attorney Andrew White, who no longer lives in the US, prepared a will Mrs. Berrier that included her wish that money from her estate go to Concord United Methodist Church and to a Jerry Lynn Berrier Scholarship Fund, established to help needy children in the Davie County.
A codicil to the will, prepared by attorney Lynne Hicks, in December 2005, had money going to the Mary Frances Berrier Humanitarian Fund, according to attorney Brian Williams’ sworn affidavit.
Williams met with Mary Frances in 2006 when she sought assistance with estate planning, and he drafted a final will, signed by her, on June 29, 2007.
Williams affidavit said, “The seven-month lapse in time from my initial meeting with Mrs. Berrier in November 2006 until the final execution was due to the planning meetings with Jane Simpson (of the Davie Community Foundation), and having a survey completed for the nine-plus acres of land that she was bequeathing to the Tutterows.”
The Tutterows – Jeff and Sheila – live across the road from Mary Frances. Jeff’s grandmother and Mary Frances were …
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