Juan C. Antúnez references the case of Oreal v. Steven Kwartin, as a case study to argue for the necessity of legal certainty and following the Probate Code with the goal of avoiding gratuitous litigation. An excerpt from the post reads,
Bottom line, our Probate Code might seem harsh at times (it is), but in the long run abiding by its mandates is the most “equitable” option for all concerned — and it’s the law. So saith the 4th DCA.
In this case a creditor filed a claim against an estate to collect on an unpaid promissory note. At the time the claim was filed the unpaid principal amount was $375,000, with an accrued interest amount of $397,000, for a total of $772,500. The estate didn’t file a timely objection to the claim, and the probate judge denied the estate’s motion for an extension of time to file an objection. But the judge was apparently unhappy with how the debt was pursued, so he exercised his “equitable powers” and reserved the right to determine whether a set-off against the creditor’s “interest component [was] appropriate due to any unexcused and excessive delay exercised by [the creditor] in attempting to perfect and collect on [its] valid unpaid claim.”
Continue reading the full article here: 4th DCA: Can a probate judge use his “equitable powers” to override our Probate Code?
Posted by Allison Trupp, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal