Report: July 31, 2019
Submitted: June 17, 2019
Victoria D. Chambers, pro se.
D. Chambers, pro se.
Sheldon S. Chambers, pro se.
E. Molina Master Judge.
estate matter, two siblings filed a petition titled
"Petition for Challenging Validity of a Will"
naming their mother's estate and their third sibling, the
current executor of their mother's estate, as
respondents. The respondents' first motion to dismiss was
granted, in part, dismissing the petitioners' challenges
to the will's validity as time-barred but allowing other
claims not addressed in the motion to dismiss to remain. The
respondents have now moved for dismissal on the merits of the
remaining claims. For the following reasons, I recommend that
the second motion to dismiss be granted. This is my final
fully developed in my March 26, 2019 Final Report,
which was adopted as an Order of this Court on April 11,
2019,  this estate matter boils down to a dispute
between three siblings (Respondents Sheldon S. Chambers,
Executor of the Estate of Evelyn Chambers, individually, and
on behalf of the estate
("Respondents") and Petitioners Victoria and James
Chambers ("Petitioners")) as to the administration
of their mother's estate.
petition filed on August 23, 2018, Petitioners raised
concerns about the will admitted to probate and averred that
after he was appointed as executor, Sheldon breached his
fiduciary duties, breached agreement(s) with Petitioners, and
failed to reimburse James for funeral expenses. The former was
dismissed as time-barred but the latter remained, surviving
the first motion to dismiss without prejudice to
Respondents' ability to file a second motion to dismiss
within twenty (20) days of my Final Report becoming an Order
of the Court. Respondents timely filed their second
motion to dismiss on April 12, 2019 and the motion was fully
briefed and submitted for consideration on June 17,
2019. I issued my draft report on July 31, 2019,
recommending dismissal, and no exceptions were filed pursuant
to Court of Chancery Rule 144. This final report makes the same
findings and my recommendations are unchanged.
before me is Respondents' second motion to dismiss. Using
the forgiving eyes I urged Respondents to adopt in my first
ruling, Respondents interpret the pro se petition to
include claims for (1) breach of fiduciary duty, (2) failure
to distribute non-probate assets, and (3) failure to pay for
services rendered. Because Petitioners do not disagree with
these characterizations and I, likewise, do not see any
additional claims pled in the petition, I adopt them and
address each in turn.
Petitioners' Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim Should Be
argue that Petitioners' breach of fiduciary duty claim
should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Court
of Chancery Rule 12(b)(6). The standards governing a motion
to dismiss for failure to state a claim are well-settled:
(i) all well-pleaded factual allegations are accepted as
true; (ii) even vague allegations are
"well-pleaded" if they give the opposing party
notice of the claim; (iii) the Court must draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the non-moving party; and ([iv])
dismissal is inappropriate unless the plaintiff would not be
entitled to recover under any reasonably conceivable set of
circumstances susceptible of proof.
need not, however, 'accept conclusory allegations
unsupported by specific facts or … draw unreasonable
inferences in favor of the non-moving
plead a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, the Complaint
must allege '(1) that a fiduciary duty exists and (2)
that the fiduciary breached that
duty.'" In the probate context, executors, like
Sheldon, stand as fiduciaries and "[t]he executor's
duty is to carry out the wishes of the decedent as expressed
in the will." Executors also owe a "duty of
loyalty and care to the estate's
beneficiaries" which ...