Mary Laymon as the personal representative of the Estate of Howard Arnold Laymon, Appellant,
Minnesota Premier Properties, LLC, et al., Respondents.
of Appellate Courts Court of Appeals
Griffitts, Griffitts Law Offices, PLLC, Eagan, Minnesota, for
G. Westrick, Westrick & McDowall-Nix, PLLP, Saint Paul,
Minnesota, for respondents.
residuary devisee has a transferable ownership interest in
property at the death of the testator because the phrase
"persons to whom it is devised" in Minnesota
Statutes section 524.3-101 (2016) includes residuary
case requires us to decide whether, under Minnesota Statutes
section 524.3-101 (2016), real property devolves to a
residuary devisee immediately upon the testator's death.
Mary Laymon, in her capacity as personal representative to
her father's estate, sued respondents Minnesota Premier
Properties (Premier) and six others to quiet title to
residential property owned by her father, Howard Laymon, at
his death. Wells Fargo bought the foreclosed property
at a sheriff's sale after Howard's death, and
Mary's brother, John Laymon, conveyed his interest in the
property by quitclaim deed to Premier a few days later.
Because Howard had devised one third of the residue of his
estate (which included the foreclosed property) to John,
John's ability to transfer a valid ownership interest in
the property by quitclaim deed depends on whether section
524.3-101 provides for real property to devolve to a
residuary devisee upon the death of the testator.
district court concluded that John did not transfer a valid
ownership interest in his father's property and granted
summary judgment to Mary. The court of appeals reversed. It
interpreted the statute to allow real property to devolve
immediately upon a testator's death to a residual devisee
and therefore concluded that John conveyed a valid interest
in the property. Laymon v. Minn. Premier Props.,
LLC, 903 N.W.2d 6, 17 (Minn.App. 2017). Mary seeks
review of this interpretation of section 524.3-101. We affirm
the decision of the court of appeals, including its remand to
the district court for further proceedings.
2005, Howard bought a house, which he financed with a
mortgage. He died testate almost 10 years later, in January
2015. His three adult children, Mary Laymon, John Laymon, and
Janet Wolff, survived him. In his will, he named Mary as
personal representative of his estate. He also devised all of
his "tangible personal property" and the residue of
his estate, in equal shares, to his three children.
Howard died, the mortgage on his property went into default
and, in May 2015, the bank began foreclosure proceedings. On
June 29, 2015, Wells Fargo bought the property at a
sheriff's sale. Shortly after the sale, the court
confirmed the appointment of Mary as personal representative
and issued her letters testamentary, which enabled her to
administer the estate.
4 days of the sheriff's sale, John and his wife conveyed
whatever interest they had in the property to Minnesota
Premier Properties, LLC (Premier) by quitclaim deed, in
exchange for $10, 000. A series of transactions based on the
conveyance followed,  including Premier quitclaiming its
interest in the property to Blue Gold Ventures, LLC (Blue
Gold). If (and only if) John had an interest in the property
at the ...