Case Conclusion Date: April 2, 2013
Practice Area: Litigation
Outcome: Client’s (brother’s) Motion to Dismiss Probate Appeal was Granted.
Description: Two sisters filed with the Hartford Superior Court an appeal of the Simsbury Regional Probate Court’s order and decree allowing and approving the final account of the estate of their mother submitted by the estate executor, their brother. The appeal alleged the brother acting pursuant to a power of attorney breached his fiduciary obligations to the decedent, used and diverted funds for his own benefit, caused himself to become a co-owner of bank accounts, depleted the assets of the estate and failed to list those personal obligations as "reimbursement liabilities” owed to the estate. The brother moved to dismiss the appeal arguing the Superior Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the appeal was not timely filed and the sisters’ reasons for appeal were outside the Superior Court’s jurisdiction because they pertained to activities prior to the decedent's death and before his appointment as executor of his mother’s estate. Because the Superior Court’s jurisdiction is limited it cannot consider or adjudicate issues beyond the scope of those proper for determination by the probate order or decree attacked. Therefore, the Superior Court dismissed the sister’s lawsuit as it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider alleged conduct by the brother that occurred before the decedent's death and prior to the his role as executor.