Appeal from the District Court of Barnes County, Southeast Judicial District, the Honorable Mikal Simonson, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Crothers, Justice.
N.D. Supreme CourtEstate of Haugen,
This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents] [Download as WordPerfect]
Opinion of the Court by Crothers, Justice.
[¶1] Stacy L. Haugen appeals the district court's order determining testacy and settlement of account, and closing of Bryan K. Haugen's estate. We reverse and remand for the district court to enter an order awarding Stacy Haugen the entire estate and to make the necessary findings of fact on the issues in dispute.
[¶2] Bryan Haugen died in July 2006. He was separated from his wife Stacy Haugen. Bryan Haugen was predeceased by both his parents. Bryan Haugen executed a will giving all his property to S. Scott Hartvickson, a family friend. S. Scott Hartvickson predeceased Bryan Haugen. The will named S. Scott Hartvickson as the personal representative and Lanae Hartvickson as the alternative personal representative. The will had no residuary clause.
[¶3] On August 9, 2006, the district court approved informal probate and appointed Lanae Hartvickson personal representative. Joyce Haugen, Bryan Haugen's paternal grandmother, and Stacy Haugen filed demands for notice. On October 26, 2006, Stacy Haugen filed a petition exercising her right to an elective share.
[¶4] A petition to close the estate was filed on November 18, 2009, and an inventory and accounting was filed on November 25, 2009. Stacy Haugen filed a response to the petition to close the estate, arguing she is entitled to receive the entire estate under the laws of intestacy and alleging deficiencies with the inventory and the accounting. Joyce Haugen filed a response to the petition to close the estate, arguing she is entitled to receive a portion of Bryan Haugen's estate under intestate succession. A hearing was held on December 8, 2009, and the personal representative was the only witness. On April 5, 2010, the ...