IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF WALKER P. INMAN, JR. REVOCABLE TRUST (made irrevocable by death of Trustor) dated January 25, 2005:
WALKER PATTERSON INMAN, III and GEORGIA NOEL INMAN, by and through their Conservator, WYOMING TRUST COMPANY, Appellees (Plaintiffs). DARALEE INMAN, as Personal Representative for the Estate of Walker P. Inman, Jr., deceased; and DARALEE INMAN and BRETT ARMSTRONG, as Trustees of the Walker P. Inman, Jr. Revocable Trust dated January 25, 2005, Appellants (Defendants),
from the District Court of Lincoln County The Honorable
Joseph B. Bluemel, Judge
Representing Appellants: Michael D. Allen and James K.
Sanderson of Sanderson Law Office, Afton, Wyoming; Mario M.
Rampulla of Prehoda, Leonard & Edwards, LLC, Laramie,
Wyoming. Argument by Messrs. Allen and Rampulla.
Representing Appellees: Judith Studer of Schwartz, Bon,
Walker & Studer, LLC, Casper, Wyoming; Jacob R. Davis of
Grimmer & Associates, PC, Lehi, Utah. Argument by Ms.
HILL, DAVIS, and FOX, JJ, and Waldrip and Campbell, DJJ.
Daralee Inman appeals an order of the district court that
interprets a trust provision and holds that the Wyoming
Probate Code governs the transfer of property to the trust,
but makes no final determination of either of the two
consolidated matters. We lack jurisdiction to decide Daralee
Inman's appeal because the order is not a final
appealable order, and we therefore dismiss.
Does this Court have jurisdiction to consider Daralee
Inman's appeal, or must we dismiss because the district
court's order is not a final appealable order?
Walker P. Inman, Jr. executed an inter vivos trust (Trust)
and his Last Will and Testament (Will). Under the terms of
the Will, any property or assets in Mr. Inman's estate at
his death were to be transferred to the Trust and distributed
according to the provisions therein. If the Trust was not in
effect at the time of Mr. Inman's death, the provisions
of the Will were to control the distributions of his assets.
The Will contained a testamentary trust with nearly identical
terms as those in the Trust. The beneficiaries under both the
Trust and the Will are Daralee Inman (Daralee), Mr.
Inman's wife, and his two minor children from a previous
Mr. Inman died in late February 2010,  and Daralee
promptly petitioned the district court for probate of Mr.
Inman's estate. The district court issued Letters
Testamentary to Daralee and appointed her as Personal
Representative of the estate. Daralee was also one of three
Co-Trustees of the Trust.
Two years after the probate was opened, Wyoming Trust Company
(WTC) filed a Voluntary Petition for Appointment of Wyoming
Trust Company as the Conservator of the Minor Children in the
probate action. WTC argued that the minor children's
interests, as beneficiaries of the Trust, were not properly
being represented in the probate and it was necessary for WTC
to become Conservator to "protect their interests and
preserve their rights under the Trust, as well as the
Estate." The district court granted WTC's petition.
[¶6] WTC, as Conservator for the minor children, filed a
separate Complaint for Declaratory Relief and Damages,
Together with Petition to Remove Trustees, alleging six
causes of action: breach of fiduciary duty, failure to
account, petition for removal of trustee, indemnity,
declaratory judgment for enforcement of trust, and
declaratory judgment as to costs and attorney fees. The
Trustees filed an answer generally denying all allegations.
Over the next two years the cases proceeded simultaneously,
with multiple filings in both matters. At a June 23, 2015
hearing, the district court orally ordered the cases
consolidated and required the parties to brief two issues:
what Article IV, ¶ 4.1 of the Trust meant, and what
In Re Estate of George, 2011 WY 157, 265 P.3d 222
(Wyo. 2011) meant and how it would affect the proceedings.
The objective was ...