Swaffar v. Swaffar
In Swaffar v. Swaffar, 309 Ark. 73, 827 S.W.2d 140 (Ark. 1992), the Arkansas Supreme Court held that an executor can defend the estate against a pretermitted heir claim. 827 S.W.2d at 142-43.
The issue on appeal was whether Billy Swaffar was legally adopted under Ark. Stat. Ann. 56-101, et seq. and therefore entitled to a portion of the decedent, Eddie Linn Swaffar's estate, as a pretermitted heir. Id. at 141. The probate court held that he was not legally adopted. 14.
On appeal, one of the issues raised by Billy Swaffar was that the executor had no standing to challenge his adoption. Id. at 142.
The court ruled that the executor's objection to Billy Swaffar's status as a pretermitted heir on the grounds that he was not legally adopted was well founded.
"The Executor was operating well within his authority to contest the pretermitted status of a petitioner who did not qualify. Indeed, he was obligated to do so as the representative of those provided for in the will . . . In short, the executor had standing to challenge the pretermitted heir claim in his capacity as executor, which was a challenge he was required to make to protect the decedent's distributees mentioned in his will." Id. at 142-43.