California Lawyers Association

Case Alerts

Case alerts and updates from CLA sections

Complaint that named trust, rather than trustee, as plaintiff did not deprive court of fundamental jurisdiction and trial court abused its discretion in denying leave to file an amended complaint substituting trustee as the plaintiff. Read more
Persons who hold estate property or receive it on or after the date of death are personally liable for unpaid estate taxes on that property. Read more
Trial court abused its discretion by applying the wrong legal standard when it defined “special needs” more narrowly than allowed under the trust instrument and special needs trust law in general. Read more
A settlor must follow the modification method set forth in the trust for an amendment to be valid. Read more
The Probate court has the power to appoint persons to protect a conservatee’s interests and the power to deny appointment of proposed conflicted counsel as conservatee’s independent counsel. Read more
Special administrator had discretion to pay statutory fee earned by administrator’s attorney to third-party judgment creditor in partial satisfaction of attorney’s judgment debt. Read more
Absent express authority under a power of attorney, an attorney-in-fact may not create a survivorship interest in the principal’s funds by depositing funds into a joint account, of which the attorney-in-fact is a joint owner. Read more
The narrow probate exception did not apply to strip the federal court of jurisdiction over an in personam breach of contract action brought after disallowance of a creditor's claim even though valuing the estate would be necessary to compute an award of damages.  Read more
The successor trustee was properly surcharged the amount of attorneys’ fees that he paid using trust assets to defend a contest as to the validity of the final amendment to the trust. Read more
Where there is no extrinsic evidence regarding the testators’ intent, courts exercise their independent judgment in interpreting bequests.   Read more

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