California Lawyers Association

Trusts and Estates Case Alerts

Timely case alerts and updates from the Trusts and Estates Section

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
Arbitration agreement was not valid and enforceable against successors-in-interest to a decedent who was without capacity to consent to arbitration when he executed the contract.  Read more
Where an estate planning attorney drafted for the client a trust amendment to disinherit specified grandchildren, the client’s other family members could not sue that attorney for legal malpractice for subsequently drafting LLC operating agreements that permitted the disinherited grandchildren from receiving interests in the LLCs through inter vivos gifts. Read more
Summary judgment was improper where the presumption of natural parentage was applied without the prerequisite factual finding of cohabitation of spouses.  Read more
Allegations that trustee breached fiduciary duties by using trust assets to fund meritless litigation did not arise out of protected activity. Read more

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