Legal Battle Over a Planned Gift Grounds a Female Aviator's Legacy

When Planned Gifts Don't Go as Planned 1

Family photograph

Amy F. Morris, who died in 2011, poses with her son, Thomas Morris, and her daughter, Sharon Duncan, who have fought George Mason U. in court for control of her estate. "We were just trying to take care of her," says Mr. Morris.

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close When Planned Gifts Don't Go as Planned 1

Family photograph

Amy F. Morris, who died in 2011, poses with her son, Thomas Morris, and her daughter, Sharon Duncan, who have fought George Mason U. in court for control of her estate. "We were just trying to take care of her," says Mr. Morris.

By all accounts, Amy Falcon Morris lived an extraordinary life. She was a part-time model, an avid photographer, and a woman who learned how to fly an airplane in the 1940s and even gave flying lessons beginning in 1969, when most women were relegated to less-adventurous pursuits. In 1973 she received an award as Virginia's flight instructor of the year.

But Ms. Morris's legacy is instead linked to a legal battle that bears her name. The George Mason University Foundation and Ms.