The son of the late Pierce Yates Sr. said this morning the family of the North Georgia millionaire has begun to heal after settling a "heart-wrenching" lawsuit over a contested will.
In an emailed statement, Brewster Yates said he has a "peace about me that I have not felt since our father's death, knowing that my brother and I finally can start the healing process and put this heart-wrenching episode behind us."
The lawsuit contended that Allen Yates, Brewster's stepbrother, was cut out of his father's will.
The Yates fortune comes in large part from their textile factory, the Yates Bleachery, in Flintstone, Ga., where Pierce, Brewster, and Allen Yates have all worked.
A trial was under way in Walker County Court in LaFayete, Ga. After several days of testimony, the case was settled.
"We decided, for the sake of the future well being and dignity of our entire family, that the case should be settled before the defense presented our side of the case," Brewster Yates wrote in his statement.
"Our father was a very strong-willed man, who could be very harsh at times, and I believe that at the time he altered his will for the last time, he obviously had some strongly held feelings that led him to take this action. Basically over the years, Pierce wrote three of his five children out of various wills at one time or another. Therefore, I do not see the last codicil in 2007 as an 'earth shattering' surprise, knowing the history of the many wills he had authored throughout his 86 years," Brewster Yates wrote.
"I sit here writing and reflecting on the most difficult times my family has ever been through, I feel as if all the bad that has happened between us has served to strengthen my character and has made me see ways I can better myself further. I feel that these tough times have made the true familial bonds stronger, while paving the road for our healing."
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.