POHNPEI LAW REPORTS
[3 PN.L.R. 55]
IN THE MATTER OF THE
ESTATE OF WETNER NELPER,
Pohnpei Civil Action No. 18-88
Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court
March 14, 1988
Petition by adopted son of intestate to award to the petitioner ownership of the estate of the intestate. The intestate who was survived by the spouse, the petitioner and another adopted child had no natural issue. The spouse and the other adopted child had by family agreement waived and relinquished their interest in the estate to the petitioner. The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice, granted the petition.
1. Intestacy - Distribution of Intestate's Property - Rights of Surviving Adopted Children
The estates of persons who die intestate after September20,1978, are distributed under the Intestate Succession Act of 1978, D.L. 4L155-78, and adopted children of an intestate have equal undivided shares with the natural children. (Section 5).
2. Intestacy - Distribution of Intestate's Property - Rights of Surviving Spouse
A living spouse of an intestate has a right to life estate in real property and to one-third of personal property of the intestate. (Section 5).
[3 PN.L.R. 56]
3. Domestic Relations - Family Agreements
Where members of a family having an interest in the property of an intestate by family agreement waive and relinquish their interest for the benefit of one family member with such interest, the Court will give effect to the family agreement.
Counsel for Petitioner: Ander Norman
Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice
[This] petition is brought in probate, seeking a decree of this Court to award ownership of the estate of Wetner Nelperto the Petitioner. I find from the evidence that:
1. Wetner Nelper, deceased, and Ruth had been married at the timeof Wetner's death on March 28, 1987.
2. Wetner died intestate.
3. Wetner predeceased the following relatives:
a. Ruth Nelper (wife) [adopted mother of petitioner]
b. Douglas Nelper (adopted by custom)
c. Lolita Nelper (adopted by custom)
4. Wetner and Ruth had no natural issue.
[3 PN.L.R. 57]
CONCLUSION OF LAW
[1-2] The estate of persons who die intestate after September 20, 1978, are distributed under D.L. 4L-155-78, the Intestate Succession Act of 1978. Adopted children have equal, undivided shares with the natural children. Sections 3 and 6, supra. A living spouse has right to life estate in real property and to one-third of personal property of the intestate. Ruth and Lolita have however under oath waived their interest and relinquished their shares to the petitioner. Their shares are a portion of an investment of Wetner at Kolonia Consumers' Cooperative Association (KCCA), identified under Certificate No. 242, at face value of $644.60, more or less. Their desires are reflected in a joint family agreement which was filed with the petition, which they both signed in concurrence.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED:
1. KCCA Share Certificate No. 242 presently registered in the name of Wetner Nelper is owned by Douglas Nelper. All interest and expenses relative thereto are to be paid or credited, or taxed against Douglas Nelper.
2. KCCA is authorized to effect changes on its records in accordance with this decree.