In re the Estate of Irene Mae Cloos, deceased.
Drexel H. Cloos; and Joseph D. Findley, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Irene Mae Cloos, Appellees. Jean Ann Cloos, Appellant,
Larimer County District Court No. 15PR30 Honorable Devin R.
Announced November 15, 2018 Jean Ann Cloos, Pro Se.
Rosenberg, Smith & Zipser, PLLC, Amy K. Rosenberg, Fort
Collins, Colorado, for Appellee Drexel H. Cloos.
Kaufman & Findley, PC, Joseph D. Findley, Loveland,
Colorado, for Appellee Joseph D. Findley.
1 Jean Ann Cloos appeals the final settlement of the estate
of her mother, Irene Mae Cloos. She contends that the
district court erred by allocating $50, 000 in
"elective-share" funds from the probate estate to
the decedent's husband of sixty-three years and Jean
Ann's father, Drexel H. Cloos (husband), and by
permitting conflicts of interest. We reverse the order as to
the award of $50, 000 as an elective share and remand for
2 The decedent died testate, devising her entire estate to
Jean Ann. Although the accounting of the estate is
not fully developed in the record, it appears that the
decedent owned the following property on the date of her
. one-half of a house in Fort Collins
appraised at $325, 000 - husband owned the other half, and
Jean Ann and husband both resided there;
. a public employee retirement account of
. an undetermined amount of personal
. a shared cabin in Wyoming with an assessed
value of about $277, 000, to which husband held survivorship
3 The decedent's will nominated Jean Ann as the personal
representative (PR) for the estate, and she was appointed
approximately four months after the decedent's death.
Jean Ann was represented by counsel for some periods during
probate but often represented herself.
4 Husband was represented by counsel. Because the will
devised the entire estate to Jean Ann, husband made statutory
claims for shares of the estate. He claimed a $32, 000 family
allowance (FA) and a $32, 000 exempt property allowance
(EPA). See §§ 15-11-403, -404,
C.R.S. 2018. He also petitioned for a supplemental elective
share of the marital property pursuant to sections 15-11-201 to
-211, C.R.S. 2018.
5 After several months without a response to his claims,
husband petitioned the district court to remove Jean Ann and
appoint a successor PR. After a hearing, the court ordered
her removal, finding that it was in the best interest of the
estate to proceed "without the burden of mutual rancor
and distrust evident at the hearing." The court
appointed Joseph D. Findley as the successor PR.
6 Findley appraised the value of the Fort Collins home at
$325, 000. He moved for an order to approve selling the half
owned by the estate to husband. Husband's payment for the
purchase price of $162, 500 was to be paid with (1) a credit
of $64, 000 from probate estate funds for his FA and EPA
claims; (2) a credit of $50, 000 from probate estate funds
for his "statutory minimum elective-share"; and (3)
$48, 500 cash. The district court approved the sale. As of
the final accounting - ...