Hoy-Wong v. Estate of Hoy
A child who alleges that siblings allegedly liquidated the contents of her parents' home, and kept the contents for themselves, possesses the burden to prove that a Probate Court inventory and final account were inaccurate. The decedent, Jane Hoy, and her husband, Harold, had four daughters and resided in Southington for many years. In August 2008, Jane and Harold Hoy decided to move to an assisted living facility, the Orchards. Prior to the move, three of their children helped them to clean their house. Jane and Harold Hoy, who remained mentally sharp, took a variety of household items with them to the Orchards. They also gave away, sold or discarded many household items. Harold Hoy passed away in November 2009, and Jane Hoy passed away in August 2010. The Probate Court appointed one of the daughters, Kristen Shugrue, as the estate executrix, after Jane Hoy passed away. In July 2011, the Probate Court approved Shugrue's inventory and final account. The plaintiff daughter, Suzanne Hoy-Wong, allegedly did not help clean the parents' house, prior to the move to the Orchards. Hoy-Wong claimed that Shugrue and Shugrue's husband "liquidated the entire contents of the parent's home to themselves and their siblings, to the exclusion of the plaintiff." Hoy-Wong filed an appeal, alleging that the inventory and final account should not have been approved. Hoy-Wong had the burden to prove that the inventory and final account omitted items. The Superior Court credited the testimony of the other children that Shugrue's final account was accurate. Personal property that the decedent did not dispose of, prior to death, was included in the inventory and final account. The court rejected Hoy-Wong's claim that Shugrue's final account omitted a collection of stamped dollar bills and Burritt International stock. The final account included the stamped dollar bills as collectible items. There was no evidence the stock certificates possessed value. The court granted judgment to the defendants. "The plaintiff," wrote the court, "has failed to prove that any assets were omitted from the inventory and the final account."