Cantero v. Estate of Caswell

Cantero v. Estate of Caswell, --- So.3d --- (Fla. 3d DCA 2019)

This decision involves an appeal of a trial court's order striking a claim as untimely. The claimant argued that his claim was timely because he was a reasonably ascertainable creditor who was not served with notice. The Court disagreed.

The claimant argued that the estate should have known about his claim based on several conversations he had with the personal representative and the personal representative's attorneys. He was claiming an ownership interest in the decedent's real property because he paid for the property and paid the mortgage premiums over 20 years prior to the decedent's death for a 5 year period of time while he has in a relationship with the decedent. In his calls to the personal representative, the claimant apparently only mentioned that he had left some car parts in the garage and never said anything about an ownership interest in the property. He argued that he inquired, "What was going on with the house?," which should have been enough to put the personal representative on notice of his claim.

The Court upheld the trial court's decision to strike his claim as untimely. The claimant's "basic inquiry" was not enough to trigger the personal representative to serve him with Notice to Creditors.

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