Attorney’s Fees in a Related Case

March 1, 2017 § 1 Comment

In the midst of their long-running property-line feud with the McDonalds, about which we have previously posted here and here, Kenneth and Carolyn Moore filed for bankruptcy, making it necessary for the McDonalds to file adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court. After the case returned to chancery from its bankruptcy detour, the case was heard on the merits and the chancellor ruled against the Moores, assessing them $13,336.55 in actual damages, $10,000 in punitive damages, expert expenses of $1,700, and attorney’s fees of more than $65,000. The attorney’s fee award included legal work by the McDonalds’ attorneys in the bankruptcy case.

The Moores appealed, contending that it was error for the chancellor to assess bankruptcy attorney’s fees against them in the chancery contempt proceeding. The COA affirmed in Moore v. McDonald, et al., handed down February 7, 2017. Judge Wilson wrote the opinion on the point:

¶4. On May 16, 2014, the McDonalds filed a motion for summary judgment supported by exhibits and affidavits. Eleven days later, the Moores filed for bankruptcy. As a result, all proceedings in the chancery court were stayed and the impending trial was cancelled. Counsel for the McDonalds entered an appearance in the bankruptcy case and filed an adversary complaint to preserve the McDonalds’ claim against the Moores. See 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) (2012) (providing that a debt for “willful and malicious injury” to the person or property of another is not dischargeable in bankruptcy). The McDonalds’ counsel also attended the meeting of creditors and filed a motion for sanctions based on the Moores’ alleged misrepresentations in the bankruptcy case. In response to hearing notices in the McDonalds’ adversary proceeding, the Moores appeared before the bankruptcy court and asked that their bankruptcy petition be dismissed. The court granted their request, which permitted the chancery case to proceed.

¶5. The chancellor found “that the Moores intentionally stalled [the chancery] action by filing [a petition for] bankruptcy which was dismissed after considerable time and effort by [counsel for the McDonalds].” The chancellor therefore found that “attorney time and expenses expended . . . in the Moore bankruptcy case were properly incurred on behalf of the McDonalds and should be awarded as part of the fees and costs awarded in this case.” On appeal, the Moores do not challenge the chancellor’s factual basis for awarding attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with the bankruptcy case. The Moores’ only argument is that “[t]he Pearl River County Chancery Court was not the appropriate forum to request attorneys’ fees for work related to the bankruptcy.” They argue that approximately $3,975 in fees that the McDonalds incurred related to the bankruptcy proceeding could only be recovered in the bankruptcy court.

¶6. The Moores’ argument is without merit. The Moores do not dispute that the McDonalds were entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees, and they cite no authority for their argument that such fees are not recoverable simply because they were incurred in a related bankruptcy proceeding. Although not directly on point, our Supreme Court recently held that a state court can award fees incurred in federal court in connection with a motion to remand the case to state court. See O.D. v. Dillard, 177 So. 3d 175, 189 (¶44) (Miss. 2015). In addition, other courts have held that a state court may award attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with a related bankruptcy proceeding. See Chinese Yellow Pages Co. v. Chinese Overseas Mktg. Serv. Corp., 170 Cal. App. 4th 868, 882 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009); Gill Sav. Ass’n v. Chair King Inc., 797 S.W.2d 31, 32 (Tex. 1990). Accordingly, we hold that the chancellor did not err by awarding attorneys’ fees related to the bankruptcy case.

In the absence of other Mississippi authority on point, then, the law in Mississippi is as stated above until the MSSC rules otherwise. On the particular facts in this case, I can’t disagree. The judge ruled that the detour “intentionally stalled” the chancery proceeding, so its connection with and direct relation to the chancery case is pretty clear. Still, I would hope we can have some parameters on how closely connected and related that other litigation needs to be to justify awarding attorney’s fees in another case.

An Acknowledgment is not an Oath, and Vice Versa

November 7, 2016 § 2 Comments

This is an acknowledgment:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority in and for the said county and state, on this the 4th day of October, 2016, within my jurisdiction, the within-named Joe Doe, who acknowledged that he executed the above and foregoing instrument.  (MCA 89-3-7)

This is an oath:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority in and for the said county and state, Jane Doe, who, after by me being first duly sworn, stated on oath that the matters and things set forth in the foregoing Petition are true and correct as therein stated.

Each serves an important function, but their functions are entirely different, and they are not interchangeable.

If you have to file an affidavit, such as an affidavit of known creditors, or an affidavit of diligent inquiry for publication process, or if you must file a sworn pleading in an estate, an acknowledgment simply will not do the job. All of those call for swearing on the part of the maker, and there is no swearing in an acknowledgment.

But, you may say, “It’s notarized; that should do it, right?” Wrong. All the notary is doing is witnessing. In one instance, she is witnessing a signature (acknowledgment). In the other she is administering and recording an oath. It’s two distinctly different things.

I am bringing this to your attention because I have had to send lawyers scurrying back to the staring line when I look at the document that is styled “Affidavit,” which requires an oath, but on closer examination includes only an acknowledgment. Without a swearing, it’s not an affidavit.

Make sure your office staff understands the difference and selects the correct one to meet the function. It can save you time, money, and embarrassment.

Some Random Thoughts and Tips on Probate Practice

August 12, 2016 § 1 Comment

Probate practice is entirely statutory. That means that everything you need to know is spelled out in the code, right?

Well, yes and no. The black letter of the law is there, true. But case law, the Uniform Chancery Court Rules (UCCR), and common sense fill in the gaps.

Here are some thoughts about probate, along with a few tips:

  • MCA 93-7-145 (b) requires that the “executor or administrator” shall file an affidavit with the clerk that he/she has made reasonably diligent efforts to identify persons having claims against the estate. The affidavit can only be made by the executor or administrator. Thus, if you have it signed and notarized before the person is appointed by court order and before the person qualifies (by taking the oath and posting any bond), it is ineffective, and, in this district, you will have to start over. That’s because the person has not yet assumed the office of executor or administrator. The attorney may not sign the affidavit on behalf of the fiduciary. I posted about this here before.
  • UCCR 6.13 requires that every pleading, account, report, etc. filed by a fiduciary be sworn. In the recent case of Miss. Comm. on Judicial Performance v. Shoemake, handed down April 14, 2016, the MSSC as much as said that every pleading and other document calling for court attention filed in an estate must be sworn to by the fiduciary. In this district we no longer accept any pleadings, accountings, motions, etc. signed solely by the attorney, with the sole exception of the situation where the attorney has completely lost contact with the fiduciary, and the attorney must file a report with the court per UCCR 6.01 and 6.02.
  • For publication process on unknown heirs and unknown wrongful death beneficiaries: remember that there must be some sworn statement, either in pleading or via affidavit, that there are no other known heirs, and the names of any other heirs, if any, are unknown, or words to that effect, per MRCP 4(c)(4)(D). AND, since you will be publishing process, you must include in the sworn statement that diligent search has been made for them, as required in MRCP 4(c)(4)(A).

TIP: Why not include the necessary language in your petition to determine heirs, or even in your complaint to open the estate? Since UCCR 6.13 requires the fiduciary to swear to all pleadings, you can kill 2 birds with one proverbial stone.

TIP: When opening an administration, why not include sworn language in your complaint that no other heirs are known after diligent inquiry, and petitioning the court to determine and adjudicate heirship. This will eliminate the need to file a separate petition.

  • If you are asking for approval of attorney’s fees in any probate matter, including a guardianship or conservatorship, I require that you include a statement of the amount of fees for which you are seeking approval within the pleading asking for it. That way, when the fiduciary signs it, he or she is put on notice of the amount. If there is a disagreement over the amount, include: (1) a statement of the amount claimed, (2) that there is a dispute, and (3) a request that the court resolve the dispute. Set the matter for hearing and be prepared for both sides to present their positions. Whether your chancellor requires it or not, you might want to consider following this practice.
  • There are factors that the court must consider in determining whether and how much to award for attorney’s fees in an estate. In addition to those, I especially take into account: how diligent was the attorney in doing all that was necessary to close the estate in a reasonable time; how timely were the inventory and accountings; how responsible was the fiduciary; how timely were publications and how correct were they; and how much did the attorney’s diligence or lack thereof save or cost the estate, guardianship, or conservatorship.
  • Most attorneys know by now, but let me emphasize: If you do not file an Affidavit of Known Creditors BEFORE you publish notice to creditors, your publication is ineffective because MCA 91-7-145 states that “Upon filing such affidavit …” it is the duty of the fiduciary to publish notice to creditors. In other words, only after the filing of the affidavit may you publish. In this district, if you publish without having first filed the affidavit, you will be required to re-publish your notice, delaying closing of the estate. See, Estate of Petrick: Vann v. Mississippi Neurosurgery, PA, 635 So.2d 1389 (Miss. 1994).
  • Speaking of inventories, I know it will come as a surprise to many of you – judging from the estate files I look at – that MCA 91-7-93 requires the executor or administrator to file an inventory within 90 days of the date when letters are issued, unless the court has either waived inventory or extends the time. MCA 91-7-105 states that the court can revoke letters of a delinquent fiduciary.

Where to Publish

November 30, 2015 § 4 Comments

Sometimes you just have to publish. It may be to complete service of process, or it may be notice to creditors in an estate, or it may be notice of a foreclosure sale. How and where do you publish notice?

Of course, when in doubt, read the rule or statute that applies. But that’s an overly-optimistic view. Some of you will stubbornly soldier on doing some of the most absurd things, like the attorney in a Lauderdale County guardianship recently who published process to the purported father in a Warren County newspaper because that was the man’s last-known county of residence. While that sounds a nice due-process tone, it just doesn’t meet the requirements of MRCP 4. So here are a few pointers:

Service of Process. Everything you need to know about publication process is in MRCP 4(c)(4). Subsection (B) of that rule requires that the publication be made “once each week during three successive weeks” in a newspaper of the county in which the pleading, account, or other proceeding is pending if there is such a newspaper. If there is no such newspaper, then you must post your notice on the courthouse door of the county, and publish it in the newspaper of an adjoining county or in a Jackson newspaper. I believe that the term “newspaper of the county” means one published in the county. That would be consistent with statutes requiring publication, and is the only common-sense interpretation at which I can arrive.

Remember that the courts strictly interpret the process rules. Close does not get you the cigar. You must strictly comply with the rules. There are many pitfalls awaiting those who try to slop through without attention to strict compliance, as I have posted about here before.

Notice to Creditors. MCA 91-7-145 requires that notice to creditors of an estate shall be made in “some newspaper in the county.” This publication requirement also applies in guardianships and conservatorships, per MCA  93-13-38(1). Section 91-7-145 goes on to say that “If a paper be not published in the county, notice by posting at the courthouse door and three (3) other places of public resort in the county shall suffice,” and you must file an affidavit attesting to the posting.

Before you publish, you must file an affidavit of the fiduciary that he or she has made a reasonably diligent effort to identify and give notice to persons who may have claims against the estate. Failure to file the affidavit before publication voids the publication.

Foreclosure. MCA 89-1-55 requires that a foreclosure sale be advertised for three consecutive weeks “in a newspaper published in the county, or, if none is so published, in some paper having a general circulation therein,” and by posting the notice at the courthouse. The statute specifies that the land must be sold in the county where it is located, or the county of the residence of the one of the grantors, or, where the property is situated in more than one county, where the parties have contracted for the sale. Where a city extends into more than one county, a newspaper published in the city is deemed to be published in all the counties into which the city extends. Warren v. Johnston, 908 So.2d 744, 748-49 (Miss. 2005).

Binding an Incompetent to a Contract

September 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Can an incompetent person be bound to a contract?

That was one of the questions presented in Estate of Holmes: Holmes v. Turner, handed down by the COA on September 1, 2015.

Frances Holmes suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and was a total-care nursing home patient for the last ten years of her life. Her son Jimmy had her power of attorney and was responsible for paying her bills for her. Frances had more than $150,000 invested in the stock market, but Jimmy elected not to liquidate her investments, apparently for tax reasons, choosing instead to pay Frances’s nursing home bills from his own money. He wrote $85,000 in checks for that purpose between 2007 and 2009, when a conservatorship was established, with Jimmy’s sister Becky as conservator, and she liquidated the stock to pay their mother’s expenses. Jimmy was not happy that Becky sold the stock, and left angry voicemails complaining that the proceeds of the stock sale belonged to him, due to his payment of his mother’s expenses. Becky responded with a letter explaining that the money was being used for Frances’s care. Jimmy never filed a claim against the conservatorship.

Jimmy died in March, 2011, and Frances died in September of the same year.

Becky had the conservatorship closed and admitted Frances’s will to probate. Under the terms of the will, Jimmy’s son Brett was to inherit Jimmy’s interest, since Jimmy had predeceased Frances. Becky notified Brett that his grandmother’s will had been probated. When Becky filed her Affidavit of Known Creditors, however, she did not name Jimmy. Notice to Creditors was published, and no claim was filed by Brett, who was fiduciary in Jimmy’s estate. A year later Brett did file a claim against Frances’s estate. Becky defended on the ground that Frances was incompetent, and so was incapable as a matter of law of entering into a contract. She also argued that Brett filed his claim too late. The chancellor disallowed the claim, and Brett appealed.

Judge Maxwell wrote for the court:

¶18. Becky argued—and the chancellor agreed—that Frances, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was mentally incapable to enter a contract to repay the almost $85,000 worth of checks Jimmy wrote her. Of course, to be valid, a contract requires “parties with legal capacity to make a contract.” Rotenberry v. Hooker, 864 So. 2d 266, 270 (¶13) (Miss. 2003). But this case presents a unique circumstance where Frances’s mental incapacity was not a barrier to an implied contract arising. See Talbert v. Ellzey, 203 Miss. 612, 620, 35 So. 2d 628, 631-32 (1948).

¶19. In Talbert, the Mississippi Supreme Court recognize an implied contract existed between an incapacitated woman and her brother. Id. The brother had removed his incapacitated sister from the state mental hospital and took care of her until her death. According to the supreme court, “when necessaries are furnished to a person who by reason of mental incapacity cannot himself make a contract, the law implies or imposes an obligation or agreement on his part to pay for them; his liability for necessaries is deemed rather a benefit than a disadvantage to him.” Id. (citations omitted).

¶20. Here, Becky has conceded the checks Jimmy wrote to Frances were used for Frances’s benefit. While Frances lacked the mental capacity to make a contract with Jimmy to pay him back, the law recognizes she was not disadvantaged by the liability for her nursing care. So according to Talbert, the law imposed an obligation on Frances’s part to repay Jimmy the $85,000 he expended to pay for needed care. See id.

The court went on to find Brett’s claim to be untimely, which is the subject of another post.

These kinds of cases at the trial level are often fact-intensive and the facts are shaded with nuances. For instance, a daughter who can not afford to live on her own moves in with her mother. She cooks, cleans, and provides personal care for her increasingly incapacitated mother. At what point does the free room and board succumb to a claim for services rendered? If the mother never paid the daughter a cent during her lifetime, does that not raise a presumption that the mother considered the services a gift offered out of love and affection rather than compensable services?

In Holmes, it was clear — and undisputed — that the money was spent specifically for Frances’s care. Most of these type cases don’t offer so neat a fact package.

Reprise: Checklist for Closing an Estate

March 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Reprise replays posts from the past that you may find useful today …

CHECKLIST FOR CLOSING AN ESTATE

September 27, 2010 § 15 Comments

  • _____ Judgment opening the estate or admitting will to probate is filed, and there is no contest.
  • _____ Oath of Executor/Administrator filed.
  • _____ The Executor/Administrator has properly filed his or her bond, or it was waived by the will or by sworn petition of all heirs with entry of a court order authorizing the waiver.
  • _____ Letters Testamentary or of Administration issued.
  • _____ The affidavit of known creditors required by MCA § 91-7-145 was properly executed by the Executor/Administrator and filed before publication to creditors.
  • _____ Publication of Notice to Creditors was made in “some newspaper in the county” that meets the criteria in MCA § 13-3-31, for three consecutive weeks, and it has been more than ninety days since the first publication.
  • _____ Inventory and appraisement were done and timely filed, or were waived by the will or by all heirs by sworn petition with order so waiving.
  • _____ All accountings were timely filed and approved by court order (other than the final accounting, which is now before the court), or waived by the will or excused by the court.
  • _____ In the case of an administration, publication for unknown heirs has been completed, and a judgment determining heirs has been presented, or will be presented in advance of presenting the final accounting.
  • _____ All interested parties to this estate have been served with the petition to close and all other closing documents, including the final account, and they have joined in the petition or have been duly served with a Rule 81 summons, and there is a proper return or properly executed waiver or joinder for each interested party.
  • _____ All probated claims have been paid, and evidence of such payment is in the court file, or the probated claims will be paid in the course of closing the estate, and a final report will be filed evidencing payment.
  • _____ The attorney’s fees and expenses, as well as those of the Executor/Administrator have been disclosed to all interested persons, and they have no objection.

What to do in an Administration When a Will Pops Up

April 30, 2014 § 2 Comments

You have opened administration of an intestate estate, and things are moving smoothly along. Your administratrix pops in one day and plops a document on your desk. “What’s this?” you ask. “Pop’s will,” she says. “Crap,” you think.

It happens now and then that a will surfaces in the midst of an intestate estate. It’s a common enough occurrence that there is even a statute telling us what to do when that happens. MCA 91-7-87 says:

If a will shall be found and probated and letters testamentary granted thereon, the same shall be a revocation of the administration; but acts lawfully done by the administrator without actual notice of such revocation shall be valid and binding.

The statute requires that the will be admitted to probate and letters testamentary issued before the administration is revoked.

If there is serious doubt as to the validity of the will, it would be best to file a caveat against probate and proceed per MCA 91-7-21. Otherwise, a petition spelling out the circumstances should be filed, specifically asking the court to revoke the administration per MCA 91-7-87. The judgment admitting the will to probate cancels the administration, and the acts done lawfuly up to that point by the administrator will be valid and binding. I don’t find any case law addressing whether the affidavit and publication for creditors filed in the administration would be valid and binding in the testate estate.

 

CHECKLIST FOR CLOSING AN ESTATE

September 27, 2010 § 20 Comments

  • _____ Judgment opening the estate or admitting will to probate is filed, and there is no contest.
  • _____ Oath of Executor/Administrator filed. 
  • _____ The Executor/Administrator has properly filed his or her bond, or it was waived by the will or by sworn petition of all heirs with entry of a court order authorizing the waiver.
  • _____ Letters Testamentary or of Administration issued.
  • _____ The affidavit of known creditors required by MCA § 91-7-145 was properly executed by the Executor/Administrator and filed before publication to creditors.
  • _____ Publication of Notice to Creditors was made in “some newspaper in the county” that meets the criteria in MCA § 13-3-31, for three consecutive weeks, and it has been more than ninety days since the first publication.
  • _____ Inventory and appraisement were done and timely filed, or were waived by the will or by all heirs by sworn petition with order so waiving.
  • _____ All accountings were timely filed and approved by court order (other than the final accounting, which is now before the court), or waived by the will or excused by the court.
  • _____ In the case of an administration, publication for unknown heirs has been completed, and a judgment determining heirs has been presented, or will be presented in advance of presenting the final accounting.
  • _____ All interested parties to this estate have been served with the petition to close and all other closing documents, including the final account, and they have joined in the petition or have been duly served with a Rule 81 summons, and there is a proper return or properly executed waiver or joinder for each interested party.
  • _____ All probated claims have been paid, and evidence of such payment is in the court file, or the probated claims will be paid in the course of closing the estate, and a final report will be filed evidencing payment.
  • _____ The attorney’s fees and expenses, as well as those of the Executor/Administrator have been disclosed to all interested persons, and they have no objection.

ADMINISTRATION OF AN INTESTATE ESTATE

August 18, 2010 § 9 Comments

[This outline is based on the 15th Chancery Court District Newsletter published by Chancellor Ed Patten]

Statutory order of preference for appointment of Administrator.  § 91-7-63, MCA.

  • Surviving spouse.
  • Next of kin, if not otherwise disqualified.
  • Other third party, bank or trust company.
  • If no application is made within 30 days of the decedent’s death, administration may be granted to a creditor or other suitable person.
  • If no application is made and the decedent left property in Mississippi, county administrator or sheriff may be appointed.  § 91-7-79 and -83, MCA.

Oath and Bond.

  • At the time that Letters of Administration are granted, the Administrator must take and subscribe the oath set out in § 91-7-41, MCA.
  • At the same time the Administrator must also post a bond in the full value of the personal estate unless al heirs are competent and consent to waive or reduce bond, or unless the Administrator is the sole heir.  § 91-7-67, MCA.

Notice to Creditors.

Administrator has the responsibility to provide notice to creditors in the order and form prescribed in § 91-7-145, MCA:

  • Adminisrator must make a reasonably diligent effort to identify creditors having a claim against the estate, and to mail them actual notice of the 90-day time period within which to file a claim.  
  • Administrator must file affidavit of known creditors and attest to having served actual notice on them. 
  • After the affidavit of known creditors has been filed, Administrator publishes notice to creditors in a local newspaper notifying them that they have 90 days within which to file a claim against the estate.  The notice must run three times, once per week for three consecutive weeks, and must include the name of the estate and the court file number.
  • Administrator must file proof of the newspaper publication with the court.
  • Publication may be waived by the court in small estates with a value not more than $500.

Inventory and Appraisal.

  • Unless excused by the court, the Administrator must complete and file inventory and appraisal within 90 days from the grant of Letters of Administration.  § 91-7-145, MCA.

Determination of Heirs.

  • An action to determine heirs must be brought before the estate may be closed.
  • Publication process to the unknown heirs of the decedent must be made.
  • Determination of heirship requires 30 days’ process and should be to a day certain so tha the unknown heirs may be called.

Interim Hearings.

  • Held as necessary to meet needs of the estate or to resolve interlocutory conflicts among the parties.
  • A hearing to determine heirs may be necessary if any previously-unknown heir appears and claims heirship and the claim is disputed by the other heirs.
  • A hearing to adjudicate whether to pay probated claims may be necessary if there is any dispute as to the validity or timeliness of the claims.

Petition to Close Estate and Discharge Administrator.

  • The attorney must file a cerificate that there are no probated claims, or that the probated claims have been satisfied.
  • Final account is filed with petition, unless excused by the court.
  • All parties in interest are summoned to a hearing on the final account and petition to close.  § 91-7-295, MCA.
  • If approved, the court enters judgment for final distribution of any property in the Administrator’s care.  § 91-7-297, MCA.
  • Upon court’s approval, the Administrator is allowed a reasonable fee for services and reimbursement of attorney’s fees.  § 91-7-299, MCA.  

PROBATE OF WILL IN COMMON FORM

June 30, 2010 § 2 Comments

[This outline is based on the 15th Chancery Court District Newsletter published by Chancellor Ed Patten]

Admission of will to probate:

  • Original will must be presented and filed, if available.
  • Petition must have copy of the will attached.  Uniform Chancery Court Rule 6.15.
  • Will must be proven by at least one subscribing witness, usually through affidavit attached to self-proving will, or by proof of will executed later.  §91-7-7, MCA.

Caveat:

  • Will may not be probated in common form if there is a previously-filed written objection to probate.  §91-7-21, MCA.

Executor appointed and Letters Testamentary Granted:

  • Court appoints executor named in the will, if appropriate.
  • Executor must be over 18 years of age, of sound mind, and not a convict of felony.
  • If no person qualifies or agrees to act as executor, court may appoint one.  §§91-7-35 and 91-7-39.

Oath and Bond:

  • At the time that Letters Testamentary are granted, executor must take and subscribe the oath set out in §91-7-41, MCA.
  • At the time that the executor takes the oath, the executor must also post bond equal to the full value of the estate, unless bond is waived by the terms of the will.  Even so, the court has authority to require a bond.  §91-7-41, MCA.

Notice to Creditors:

Executor has the responsibility to give notice to creditors in the prescribed form and in the proper order set out in §91-7-145, MCA, as follows:

  • Executor to make reasonable effort to identify creditors having a claim against the estate and to mail them actual notice of the 90-day time period in which to file a claim.
  • Executor must file an affidavit of known creditors and attest to having served actual notice on them.
  • Executor must publish notice in newspaper publsihed in the county informing creditors that they have 90 days in which to file a claim against the estate; publication to run 3 times, once per week for 3 consecutive weeks.
  • Executor is required to file proof of newspaper publication in the court file.
  • Publication may be waived by the court in very small estates having value not more than $500.

Inventory and Appraisal:

  • If not specifically waived in the will, the executor is required to complete and file inventory and appraisal within 90 days from the grant of Letters Testamentary.  §91-7-45, MCA.
  • The court may require inventory and appraisal eben if waived in the will.

Interim Hearings:

  • Held as necessary to resolve interlocutory conflicts between the parties.

Accountings:

  • Accountings are required annually and upon closing the estate. 
  • All parties may agree to waive final accounting, and by custom also annual accountings.

Petition to Close Estate and Discharge Executor:

  •  Final account must be filed with petition to close unless excused by the court.
  • All parties in interest must be summoned to hearing on final account and petition to close.  §91-7-295, MCA.
  • Any party may enter an appearance by consent and waiver.
  • If approved, the court enters its final judgment for final distribution of any property remaining in the executor’s care.  §91-7-297, MCA.

Search Results

You are currently viewing the search results for affidavit of creditors.