KOSRAE STATE COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as In re Estate of Melander
12 FSM Intrm. 82 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2003)

[12 FSM Intrm. 82]

IN RE ESTATE OF TEDRICK MELANDER,
 
LELEAN W. WAKUK
Petitioner,
 
vs.
 
MELANDER MELANDER et al.,
Respondents.
 
PROBATE CASE NO. 4-03
 
ORDERS GRANTING PETITION; APPOINTING TRUSTEE:
SETTING DISTRIBUTION
 
Yosiwo P. George
Chief Justice
 
Hearing: September 9, 2003
Decided: September 9, 2003

APPEARANCE:

For the Petitioner:                      Canney Palsis, Esq.
                                                    Directing Attorney
                                                    Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
                                                    P.O. Box 38
                                                    Lelu, Kosrae, FM 96944

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HEADNOTE

Domestic Relations ) Probate
     It is in an estateís best interests that a trustee who resides in Kosrae be appointed to manage the lease of a land parcel located in Kosrae, so that negotiations, collection and distribution of the lease payments can easily take place in Kosrae, where most of the heirs live; and so that the trustee be able to quickly respond to any issues or problems which may arise during the lease, including seeking court assistance. In re Estate of Melander, 12 FSM Intrm. 82, 83 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2003).

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COURTíS OPINION

YOSIWO P. GEORGE, Chief Justice:

     On June 16, 2003, Petitioner filed a Verified Petition for Appointment of Trustee for the Estate of Tedrick Melander,. Petitioner specifically requests appointment as trustee for parcel 002-U-16, also

[12 FSM Intrm. 83]

called Inpuspusa, which is located in Utwe Municipality, Kosrae State. The purpose of appointment of trustee is to conduct negotiations for the lease of parcel 002-U-16, and to collect and distribute the lease payments to the Heirs of Tedrick Melander.

     The Heirs of Tedrick Melander consist of ten children, namely: Melander Melander, Bernard Melander, Tedson Melander, Robert Melander, Debrum Melander, Judy L. Talley, Senyorita Melander, Sepe Robar and Scott Melander. A notarized, written consent for the appointment of Petitioner Lelean W. Wakuk was received from each of the heirs of Tedrick Melander, except for Melander Melander. Melander Melander filed an objection to the Petitionerís Petition, based upon his status as the eldest son of the Deceased.

      A hearing on the Petition was held on September 9, 2003. Canney Palsis appeared for the Petitioner. Petitioner and Respondents, Bernard Melander, Tedson Melander, Judy L. Talley, Senyorita Melander, Sepe Robar and Scott Melander were also present at the hearing. Robert Melander, Debrum Melander and Melander Melander did not appear in person or by telephone.

     Based upon the information provided to the Court, the file in this matter, the best interests of the Estate of Tedrick Melander, and applying applicable law, I granted the Petitionerís Petition for Appointment of Trustee. I find that it is in the best interests of the Estate that a Trustee who resides in Kosrae State be appointed to manage the lease of a parcel of land located in Kosrae State. It is in the best interests that the Trustee be a resident of Kosrae, so that negotiations, collection and distribution of the lease payments can easily take place in Kosrae State, where most of the heirs are living. Furthermore, it is in the best interests of the Estate that a Trustee be a resident of Kosrae State, to be able to quickly respond to any issues or problems which may arise during the lease of parcel 002-U-16, including seeking the assistance of this Court if necessary. In consideration of all these factors, Petitioner Lelean W. Wakuk is hereby appointed as Trustee for the Estate of Tedrick Melander, parcel 002-U-16. It is therefore

Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed:

1. Lelean W. Wakuk shall serve as Trustee for the Estate of Tedrick Melander, parcel 002-U-16. The Trusteeís authority shall include negotiation of the lease of parcel 002-U-16 to any interested party, execution of the lease and related documents, and collection of the lease payments. The Trustee is authorized to retain legal counsel for negotiation and lease of parcel 002-U-16.

2. The Trustee shall distribute all lease payments received for parcel 002-U-16 as follows. Each of the following heirs of Tedrick Melander shall receive ten percent (10%) of the total amount of lease payments made: Lelean Wakuk, Bernard Melander, Tedson Melander, Judy L. Talley, Senyorita Melander, Sepe Robar, Scott Melander, Robert Melander, Debrum Melander and Melander Melander.

3. The Trustee shall be responsible to collect and promptly distribute the lease payments to each of the heirs listed in paragraph 2. The Trustee may distribute the share of each Kosrae resident heir in cash or by check. The Trustee shall distribute the share of each non-Kosrae resident heir by bank certified check. The bank certified check shall be mailed via certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted addressee, to each heir who resides outside of Kosrae. The cost of the bank certified check and the cost of mailing shall be deducted from that non-Kosrae resident heirís share.

4. The Trustee shall keep a receipt for each payment made to each Kosrae resident heir. The Trustee shall keep the return receipt from the mailing of each payment to each non-Kosrae resident heir.

5. The Chief Clerk shall release the check being held in custody by this Court, issued by the Church of

[12 FSM Intrm. 84]

Latter Day Saints for lease payment of parcel 002-U-16, to the Trustee immediately. This check, made in the amount of $ 12,000, shall be cashed by the Trustee and distributed to each of the heirs of Tedrick Melander, in the amount of 10% (or $ 1,200 each) according to paragraphs 2, 3 and 4.

6. Any further lease payments for parcel 002-U-16 shall be collected and distributed pursuant to the terms of this Order.

7. The appointment of Trustee, authority provided to Trustee, collection and distribution procedure for lease payments, and distribution formula shall remain in effect until further written order of this Court.

8. The Trustee shall conduct negotiation of the lease, collection and distribution of the proceeds without further order from this Court. However, the Trustee and any of the heirs may request amendment to this Order or other assistance from this Court at any time, in writing.

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