In re Estate of Joseph B. MickelsAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the probate division denying the application of Ruth Mickels (“Mickels”) to be appointed as personal representative of the estate of her late husband, Joseph Mickels, Sr. The probate denied the application as untimely under Mo. Rev. Stat. 473.020, which requires all applications to be filed within one year of the decedent’s death. By the time the application was filed, the decedent had been deceased for seven years. On appeal, Mickels argued that Mickels v. Danrad, 486 S.W.3d 327 (Mo. banc 2016) (“Mickels I”), announced a new cause of action previously unavailable in Missouri and that equity required the allowance of an out-of-time appointment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Mickels’s application for appointment as personal representative was time-barred by section 473.020 because (1) Mickels I did not announce a new cause of action; and (2) where the court was obligated to follow the clearly articulated statute of limitations, it could not exercise an equitable powers to provide relief in this case.