Master in Chancery Recommends Finding That an Administrator of an Estate Has not Failed in His Statutory Duties in Filing a Late Accounting Where No Harm Can Be Shown

Delaware Fiduciary Litigation Blog

Posted July 31, 2014

Dixon v. Joyner C.A. No. 7452-ML (July 14, 2014)

The Master in Chancery recently held that even late filings of accountings or notifications thereof do not constitute statutory failures by the administrator of an estate under certain circumstances. In Dixon v. Joyner the accounting was filed two months late but the petitioner could not demonstrate either that it was incomplete or that the petitioner suffered an harm as a result. Similarly, because he could not demonstrate either that he had received late notice of the accounting or that he had suffered any harm due to late notification, summary judgment in favor of the executor was appropriate. The Court also affirmed that the executor properly did not make distributions to the decedent’s heirs within the one year period provided by statute, because the estate had not yet been settled at that time. The assets of the estate were properly used to satisfy the debts of the estate. Finally, the Court held that a property involved in active foreclosure proceedings cannot be sold to satisfy the debts of the estate.


William M. Kelleher, Director
Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.