Estate of Austin v. SneadAnnotate this Case
Allegations of sexual abuse were made against Allen Austin (Decedent) in 2006. Decedent died in 2009. A personal representative of Decedent's estate failed to provide actual notice of the probate proceeding to the children whom Decedent was alleged to have sexually abused. Because of the failure to notify the children, their claims against the estate were filed beyond the statutory six-month window for creditors to file claims against the estate. The trial court dismissed the claims as tardy as the children were not "known or reasonably ascertainable creditors." The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the children were known or reasonably ascertainable creditors of the estate, and therefore, their claims were more than merely conjectural; and (2) because due process requires that the personal representative of an estate provide actual notice of the probate proceeding to all reasonably ascertainable creditors of the estate who may have more than a merely conjectural claim against the estate, the children's claims should not have been dismissed.