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In the Matter of the Estate of v. Daniel Samson

April 24, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF ALMON D. MANES. T. JESSI MILLER,
PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
DANIEL SAMSON,
RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District, State of Idaho, Idaho County. Hon. Michael J. Griffin, District Judge. Hon. Jeff P. Payne, Magistrate.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Melanson, Judge

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 457

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Order of the district court, on intermediate appeal from the magistrate division, affirming decision granting claim against estate, affirmed.

T. Jessi Miller appeals from the district court's order affirming the magistrate's decision granting Daniel Samson's claim against the estate of Almon D. Manes. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

In February 2009, Manes passed away and his stepdaughter, Miller, was appointed personal representative of Manes's estate. The estate was comprised of 160 acres, a residence, numerous outbuildings, and an extensive amount of personal property that Manes had collected over the years. Manes's personal property consisted of antiques and keepsakes intermixed with large quantities of other items that had little, if any, value. The amount of personal property, along with the manner in which it was stored, required extensive time and labor to collect, catalog, and organize following Manes's death.

Shortly before Manes's death, Miller and Samson (Manes's neighbor) were visiting Manes in the hospital. Miller approached Samson and requested that he perform work on the estate. Samson initially declined this offer but, after numerous requests, agreed to provide assistance. Miller originally offered to compensate Samson with personal property from the estate. Samson expressly rejected this proposition and stated he wanted monetary compensation. Miller subsequently told Samson he would be "well compensated," and Samson agreed to that arrangement.*fn1 No written contract was discussed, contemplated, or agreed upon at this time.

Samson began work in February 2009, performing tasks at the direction of Miller. These tasks included sorting through the estate's extensive personal property, organizing and securing items to be kept, hauling away items to be disposed of, caring for horses, maintaining fences, putting up signs, painting, and serving as the onsite contact person and supervisor for the estate's affairs. Samson also occasionally provided security-type services, watching over the property at night to prevent theft. In summary, the work performed by Samson was time-consuming, labor-intensive, and comprehensive.

In May 2009, Miller sent Samson a document entitled "Property Management Agreement." The agreement indicated it was effective as of May 2, 2009, and purported to provide compensation to Samson solely in the form of tangible personal property from the estate. The agreement was only signed by Miller.

At trial, Samson provided uncontroverted testimony that he expressly rejected this proposed agreement because of the method of compensation it contemplated. Samson testified he desired monetary compensation and that he again communicated this to Miller. Miller then informed Samson she would prepare a new agreement. Miller never created any subsequent written agreement.

In early September 2009, Miller terminated Samson from his duties when Samson refused to dispose of certain items that Miller had requested. At this time, Samson had not received compensation for his work, nor had Miller reimbursed Samson for expenses he incurred on behalf of the estate. ...


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