from the District Court of Ransom County, Southeast Judicial
District, the Honorable Jerod E. Tufte, Judge.
M. Kelly, for petitioner and appellee.
K. Sorenson, for respondent and appellant.
B. Weir (argued), Valeska A. Hermanson (appeared) and Robert
G. Manly (on brief), for respondents and appellees.
1] Linda Ketterling appealed from a district court order
interpreting Larry Ketterling's will and the L & L
Rentals, LLC operating agreement to determine whether the
transfer of Larry Ketterling's ownership interest in the
company is restricted. We dismiss the appeal for lack of
2] Linda Ketterling was married to Larry Ketterling. They
were the co-owners of L & L Rentals, and each owned a
fifty percent membership interest in the company. Larry
Ketterling died on July 31, 2014. An application for the
informal probate of Larry Ketterling's will was filed and
a personal representative was appointed.
3] In November 2015, the personal representative petitioned
for approval of the final accounting, settlement, and
distribution of the estate, including distribution of Larry
Ketterling's interest in L & L Rentals to his
children. Linda Ketterling objected to the petition, arguing
Larry Ketterling's interest in the company was not
available for distribution because she intended to purchase
the interest under the terms of the L & L Rentals
4] A hearing was held, and the district court entered an
order on February 17, 2016. The district court interpreted
the will and the L & L Rentals operating agreement and
concluded the personal representative would not violate the
operating agreement by distributing Larry Ketterling's
interest in the company to his children. The court ordered
the personal representative was not required to transfer the
interest to Linda Ketterling under either the terms of the
will or the terms of the operating agreement.
5] On February 17, 2016, a bank petitioned for allowance of
its claim against the estate for payment of debts, including
a loan to L & L Rentals. On February 22, 2016, the
personal representative petitioned for approval of an amended
final accounting and distribution of the estate. On February
26, 2016, Linda Ketterling filed a claim against the estate
for amounts she may be required to pay creditors on loans to
Larry Ketterling. On April 7, 2016, Linda Ketterling objected
to the petition for approval of an amended final accounting
and distribution, arguing L & L Rentals is not an estate
asset. On April 8, 2016, Linda Ketterling filed a notice of
appeal, stating she was appealing the February 17, 2016,
6] Before this Court can consider the merits of an appeal, we
must determine whether we have jurisdiction. In re Estate
of Hollingsworth, 2012 ND 16, ¶ 7, 809 N.W.2d 328.
7] This is an informal, unsupervised probate case. In an
unsupervised probate, each proceeding before the court is
independent of any other proceeding involving the same
estate. N.D.C.C. § 30.1-12-07. Because each proceeding
is independent, there needs to be finality, for purposes of
appealability, only for the proceeding being appealed. In
re Estate of Grengs, 2015 ND 152, ¶ 18, 864 N.W.2d
424. This Court has explained, "When interrelated claims
have not all been resolved, the order or judgment is not
final for review. 'Thus, in an unsupervised probate, an
order settling all claims of one claimant is ...