Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Estate of Irwin

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 2

October 22, 2019

In the Matter of the Estate of: GERALD IRWIN SR., Deceased.

          GLASGOW, J.

         In his will, Gerald Irwin Sr. left Barbara Kelley a life estate in real property that was still encumbered by a mortgage. He left the residue of his estate to his two children, divided evenly between them. The trial court ruled that Kelley was responsible for paying the mortgage during her life estate.

         Kelley appeals, arguing that she is not "the devisee" and so is not responsible for the mortgage under RCW 11.12.070, that Irwin Sr. did not intend for her to pay more than the taxes and insurance on the real property, and that under common law principles, life tenants are generally not liable for mortgages on property in which they receive a life estate. Irwin Sr.'s children argue that the invited error doctrine prohibits Kelley from appealing the trial court's order.

         We hold that the invited error doctrine does not apply to this case. We also hold that Kelley is responsible for paying the mortgage during her life estate, and we affirm the trial court.

         FACTS

         Irwin Sr. executed his will on November 16, 2016. He named Kelley as personal representative of his estate. In the will he also granted Kelley a life estate in real property "provided she pays the taxes and insurance on the property." Clerk's Papers (CP) at 3. Irwin Sr. devised the residue of his estate evenly between his two children, Gerald Irwin Jr. and Barbara Irwin. The will was silent on the mortgage that still encumbered the property at the time of Irwin Sr.'s death.

         Irwin Sr. died in January 2017. Relevant to this appeal, the Irwins argued that Kelley, as the life tenant, was personally responsible for the mortgage. The trial court agreed with the Irwins in its letter ruling, ordering Kelley to personally make monthly payments on the mortgage during her life tenancy. The parties then jointly presented a stipulated order memorializing the court's letter ruling.

         Kelley appeals.

         ANALYSIS

         I. Invited Error

         As an initial matter, Barbara Irwin[1] argues that Kelley invited the error she now complains about because she stipulated to entry of the trial court's order following its letter ruling. Irwin asks us to invoke judicial estoppel and reject Kelley's appeal. We disagree and decline Irwin's request.

         The invited error doctrine prohibits a party from setting up an error at trial and then complaining of it on appeal. State v. Momah, 167 Wn.2d 140, 153, 217 P.3d 321 (2009). But as Kelley points out, she did not stipulate to the merits of the trial court's order, but simply affirmed that the final order accurately reflected and formalized the court's letter ruling. The invited error doctrine does not apply in this case because Kelley did not stipulate to the merits of the court's ruling.

         II. Irwin Sr.'s Will

         Kelley argues the trial court erred in ruling that she is responsible for paying the mortgage on the property. Kelley contends that the Irwins, as residuary fee simple ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.