Estate of Ketterling

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 died on July 31, 2014. An application for the informal probate of Larry's will was filed and a personal representative was appointed. In November 2015, the personal representative petitioned for approval of the final accounting, settlement, and distribution of the estate, including distribution of Larry's interest in L & L Rentals to his children. Linda objected to the petition, arguing Larry'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 operating agreement. In 2016, a bank petitioned for allowance of its claim against the estate for payment of debts, including a loan to L & L Rentals. Linda filed a claim against the estate for amounts she may be required to pay creditors on loans to Larry. Linda then objected to the petition for approval of an amended final accounting and distribution, arguing L & L Rentals was not an estate asset. Linda filed a notice of appeal, stating she was appealing the earlier order. After review, the Supreme Court found that the district court had not ruled on Linda's claim: the petition for approval of the amended final accounting and distribution, or the objection. There were also remaining issues with creditors and the transfer of the ownership interest in L & L Rentals could have been interrelated to these issues. The Supreme Court held that the district court's order was not appealable without Rule 54(b) certification, if it was providently granted. Linda did not request Rule 54(b) certification, and therefore this was not a final, appealable order. Concluding it did not have jurisdiction to hear this appeal, the Supreme Court dismissed. View "Estate of Ketterling" on Justia Law