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Nephews' appeal over estate dispute dismissed

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Even though the trial court said its order regarding a petition to set aside a family settlement agreement was final and appealable, it was not, so the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal sua sponte.

Mark and David Shuler, co-personal representatives of the estate of Ruby Shuler Blankenbaker Botkins and nephews of Botkins, appealed the denial of their motion to set aside a family settlement agreement they entered into with Botkins’ surviving husband after Botkins’ death. The agreement said the Shulers would act as co-representatives of the estate and administer it in a manner that follows the directives of a will Botkins created in 1992.

Several months later, while the estate was still open, the Shulers found another will executed by Botkins in 1987. They filed a petition to set aside the agreement and admit the 1987 will to probate, but the husband objected. The Shulers sought interlocutory appeal, which the COA denied, and then asked the trial court to make its April 12, 2011, denial of their petition a final judgment. The trial court entered the purported final order on Sept. 2.

 In In Re the Estate of Ruby Shuler Blankenbaker Botkins, Deceased; Mark Allen Shuler and David Lee Shuler, co-personal representatives v. Estate of George Botkins and Larry Botkins, personal rep., No. 22A05-1109-ES-481, the COA dismissed, finding the trial court’s order didn’t comply with Trial Rule 54(B). In addition, orders issued by a probate court aren’t final until the estate is closed. The order from which the Shulers appeal is also not an appealable interlocutory order, so the appellate court ruled it does not have subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the appeal.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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