An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA04-1056
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Filed: 17 May 2005

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF        Cabarrus County
MARY ROSS MURRAY,                      No. 02 E 501

    Appeal by appellant-heir from order entered 3 March 2004, effective 19 April 2004, by Judge W. David Lee in Cabarrus County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 9 March 2005.

    Brady, Nordgren, Klym & Morton, PLLC, by Travis K. Morton, for appellant Johnny William Foster.

    Hartsell and Williams, PA, by J. Merritt White, III, and Christy E. Wilhelm, for appellee Billie Joe Murray.

    Mills Law Office, by William L. Mills, III, for appellee, David Timothy Foster, Executor.

    LEVINSON, Judge.    

    This case arises from the settlement of the estate of Mary Ross Murray (the deceased), who died on 15 July 2002 in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The deceased was survived by her husband, appellee Billie Joe Murray (Murray), and by two sons: Johnny Foster, the appellant herein, and executor-appellee David Foster. Appellant appeals the trial court's order affirming an order of the Cabarrus County Clerk of Court that allotted Murray a life estate in the marital residence. We dismiss the appeal as moot.
    The deceased passed away on 15 July 2002. On 14 January 2003 Murray applied for a life estate in the marital home in lieu of a statutory elective share in the deceased's estate. On 7 August 2003 the Cabarrus County Clerk of Court entered an order allottingMurray a life estate in the marital home, from which order appellant appealed to Superior Court. The trial court entered an order on 3 March 2004, effective 19 April 2004, which affirmed the clerk's order. From this order appellant appealed.
    In October of 2004, appellee David Foster, the executor of the deceased's estate, reached an agreement with Murray. The agreement was formalized on 22 October 2004, and was filed with the Cabarrus County Clerk and with the register of deeds on 26 October 2004. As part of the agreement, Murray executed a quitclaim deed surrendering his life estate to the executor of deceased's estate.

    Preliminarily, we note that appellant neither requested attorneys' fees from the trial court or the clerk of court, nor assigned error to the failure of the clerk or trial court to award attorneys' fees. Appellant thus failed to preserve the issue of attorneys' fees for appellate review. See N.C.R. App. Proc. 10(a) (“scope of review on appeal is confined to a consideration of those assignments of error set out in the record on appeal”); 10(b)(1) (“to preserve a question for appellate review, a party must have presented to the trial court a timely request, objection or motion, . . . [and must have] obtain[ed] a ruling upon the party's request, objection or motion.”). Accordingly, we do not address any argument by appellant raising this issue.
    Moreover, we conclude that Murray's relinquishment of his life estate renders this appeal moot. Appellant's argument on appeal is that Murray was not entitled to the life estate. Now that Murrayhas surrendered the challenged life estate, the propriety of Murray's receiving a life estate is moot, and there is no longer a case or controversy between the parties:
        When, pending an appeal to this Court, a development occurs, by reason of which the questions originally in controversy between the parties are no longer at issue, the appeal will be dismissed for the reason that this Court will not entertain or proceed with a cause merely to determine abstract propositions of law or to determine which party should rightly have won in the lower court.

Granville Co. Bd. of Comrs. v. N.C. Haz. Waste Mgmt. Comm., 329 N.C. 615, 622, 407 S.E.2d 785, 789 (1991) (quoting Parent-Teacher Assoc. v. Bd. of Education, 275 N.C. 675, 679, 170 S.E.2d 473, 476 (1969)). Accordingly, we conclude that this appeal should be
    Judges HUNTER and McCULLOUGH concur.
    Report Per Rule 30(e).

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