In re Estate of OrokeAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the decision of the district court admitting a testator's will and codicil to probate after the limitation period for petitioning a will for probate had passed, holding that equitable tolling of the statute of limitations was warranted under the unique circumstances in this case.
The testator deposited his original will and a codicil with the probate court as permitted by statute. After the testator's death, his heirs tried to locate the will, but the clerk of court informed the heirs that the will was not in the custody of the court. Eventually, the testator's daughter filed an intestate proceeding. After the limitation period for petitioning a will for probate had passed, the clerk of court located the will and codicil. The testator's stepdaughter filed a separate petition to probate the will. The district court consolidated the probate proceedings and admitted the will to probate. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the will in the authorized custody of the district court but not found until after the statute of limitations had expired should be admitted to probate.