In re Estate of Hunt, 597 S.W.3d 912 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2020, no pet. h.).


Interpretation and Construction

Testator’s will made a gift of all of his “remaining household and personal property” to a specific beneficiary. Both this beneficiary and the remainder beneficiaries claimed that they are entitled to intangible personal property such as bank accounts and stocks. The trial court granted summary judgment that the specific beneficiary’s gift included the intangible personal properly. The remainder beneficiaries appealed.

The appellate court affirmed. The court explained that the term “personal property” is not ambiguous. Personal property refers to all property, tangible or intangible, that does not qualify as real property. “The legal definition of ‘personal property’ is so well established that it generally does not allow for an interpretation other than the one ascribed to it by the law.” Id. at 916-17. The court also reject the argument that the word “household” in the two-pronged bequest limited the gift of personal property.

Moral:  The term “personal property” unambiguously encompasses both tangible and intangible person property.