IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF HELEN E. HOUSER, Deceased. BONNIE FORBES, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Patrick R.
sibling appeals from an order concerning her mother's
Burbidge of Johnston, Stannard, Klesner Burbidge &
Fitzgerald P.L.C., Iowa City, for appellant.
E. Beasley and Thomas E. Williams of Phelan, Tucker, Mullen,
Walker, Tucker & Gelman, L.L.P., Iowa City, for appellee
E. Maxwell of Leff Law Firm, L.L.P., Iowa City, for appellee
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Vogel, S.J.
Vaitheswaran, Presiding Judge.
mother of four children died, leaving a significant estate to
be distributed to her children under the terms of her will.
In this second appeal, one of the siblings challenges the
district court's (A) reduction of her share of the
estate, (B) refusal to reduce a brother's share of the
estate, (C) allocation of executor fees, and (D) refusal to
order the payment of certain charges incurred for upkeep of
Background Facts and Proceedings
Houser died in 2012, and her will was admitted to probate.
Her daughter Bonnie Forbes and son Lawrence Houser were named
co-executors of the estate. Forbes was later removed as
co-executor, a decision this court affirmed on appeal.
See In re Estate of Houser, No. 15-1993, 2017 WL
363238, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2017).
time, executor Lawrence Houser submitted a final report. He
proposed a reduction of Forbes' distributive share by
$57, 622.69, which represented the increased value of an
annuity the court previously ordered transferred to the
estate. He also proposed a reduction of his brother Woodrow
Houser's distributive share by $36, 557.71, based on
unpaid debts to their parents. Finally, he requested seventy
percent of the statutory executor fees as well as
extraordinary fees of $6000, with the remaining thirty
percent of the ordinary fees going to Forbes for her initial
work as co-executor.
objected to the following portions of the final report:
a. Reduction of [her] share of the estate related to the
b. Valuation of Woodrow Houser's debt to the estate.
c. Her executor fee.
d. The executor fee of [Lawrence] Houser.
e. Failure to include expenses for care of the estate
property as an expense of the estate or a claim against the
district court (1) reduced Forbes' distributive share by
$52, 837.81 rather than the proposed $57, 622.69, (2)
declined to reduce Woodrow Houser's distributive share,
(3) granted Forbes thirty-five percent of the executor fee
rather than the thirty percent recommended by the executor,
(4) granted Lawrence Houser sixty-five percent rather than
seventy percent of the ordinary executor fee and
extraordinary fees of $4500 rather than $6000, and (5)
disallowed the charges incurred in maintaining assets of the
appealed. The executor did not file a cross-appeal.