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Legal Memorandum: Applicable Law for Estate Disputes

Issue: What is the applicable law for an estate dispute that commenced in the Marshall Islands in 2002?

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Estate dispute; Statute applicable
Jurisdiction: Marshall Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: PL 1990-91, §§ 20.1 – 20.49, §§ 162(4), § 174; PL 2005-28, §§ 1-75; Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act § 16, at 494-95
Date: 05/01/2010

The Marshall Islands Partnership Act (PL 1990-91, §§ 20.1 through 20.49) is the applicable law.  Although the Partnership Act (PL 1990-91) was repealed in 2005, and replaced by a Revised Partnership Act (PL 2005-28, §§ 1-75), for purposes of an estate matter commencing in 2002, the applicable law is the former statute.  The general rule is that “an amendment or repeal of a civil statute or rule does not affect a pending action or proceeding or a right accrued before the amendment or repeal takes effect.”  14 Uniform Laws Annotated, Master Edition, Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act § 16, at 494-95. 

In such cases, generally, the older law is applicable.  See State ex rel. Carmean v. Bd. of Educ., 165 N.E.2d 918 (Ohio 1960) (a petition to transfer land from one school district to another, initially filed before a change in the statute, was a pending proceeding to be decided under older law); Grant v. Norris, 85 N.W.2d 261 (Iowa 1957) (a petition for an election to consolidate school districts was held to be a “proceeding” commenced under the old law, even though a materially different statute was enacted before the election, and thus the old law was found applicable).

See 1990-91 Act §§ 162(4) (death of any partner causes dissolution of partnership); 174 (the legal representative of a deceased partner has the right to an account which “shall accrue” on the date of dissolution).  See In re Hoover’s Estate, 251 N.W.2d 529, 530-31 (Iowa 1977) (“rights that have […]

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