In re Estate of ButlerAnnotate this Case
Kenneth Butler was employed with Colgate-Palmolive Company at the time he died intestate in October 2006. In 2007, Kenneth’s son and sole heir, Franklin Burch, as administrator of Kenneth’s estate, petitioned for a determination and allocation of severance benefits. A district judge entered an allocation order dividing Colgate-Palmolive’s obligations under its severance package on behalf of Kenneth. The court ruled that Kenneth’s father, Leo, was entitled to $63,640 and Kenneth’s estate was entitled to $176,359. Leo moved to set aside the allocation order. The judge denied the motion. Nearly four years later, Burch filed a petition for partial distribution seeking $120,000 from Kenneth’s estate. The partial distribution was approved. Thereafter, Leo’s estate sought to appeal the partial distribution order and also challenged the allocation order and the subsequent rulings refusing to set it aside. The district court disallowed the late appeal, concluding that Leo’s estate had no interest in Kenneth’s estate to pursue. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Leo’s estate had no interest in the assets of Kenneth’s estate to preserve when the order of partial distribution was issued because Leo did not take a timely appeal of the allocation order to preserve his interest.