In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Vernon D. Radda,
A voluntary guardianship and conservatorship was established with respect to Vernon D. Radda in September of 1991. In 1992, and again in 2015, Mr. Radda executed wills, though no finding of testamentary capacity was sought from or made by any court pursuant to Iowa Code 633.637(1). Barbara Kiene, Mr. Radda’s daughter, and her husband, Kevin Kiene (“the Kienes”), filed a petition for declaratory judgment, asking the court to determine whether Mr. Radda possessed testamentary capacity when he executed the will in 2015 and, if necessary, in 1992. The court denied the Bank’s motion to dismiss, but in its order on the Bank’s motion to enlarge the court ruled the action could proceed only on the issue of Mr. Radda’s current testamentary capacity, and the Kienes would be required to pay all costs and attorneys’ fees. The supreme court granted the Kienes’ application for interlocutory appeal. They argue: (1) the district court possesses jurisdiction to consider whether Mr. Radda had the testamentary capacity to execute the wills in 2015 and 1992; (2) the presumption Mr. Radda lacked testamentary capacity in 1992 and 2015 was not rebutted before the wills were executed, and therefore the wills are invalid as a matter of law; (3) the Kienes have standing to bring this action; and (4) the parties should be responsible for their own attorneys’ fees.
R. Ronald Pogge and Chandler M. Surrency
Oral Argument Schedule
Jan 21, 2021 9:00 AM