California Lawyers Association

Trusts and Estates Case Alerts

Timely case alerts and updates from the Trusts and Estates Section

Beneficiary was determined predeceased for filing a direct trust contest outside the 120-day period following trustee notification where her unexcused late filing constituted lack of probable cause. Read more
A financial elder abuse claimant may not obtain a pretrial writ of attachment for prospective punitive damages or statutory penalties, including double and treble damages. Read more
Attorneys’ fees properly denied to party in dissolution proceedings on needs-basis, where the party over litigated the case and failed to show reasonable grounds to appeal. Read more
LPS conservatorship petitions must proceed to a statutory hearing before trial unless the proposed conservatee waives the hearing and demands trial before the hearing, but the proposed conservatee does not have to demand trial until five days following the completed statutory hearing. Read more
Mildred and James created a trust and named their children as remainder beneficiaries. Their two eldest daughters, Lynne and Gail, were to receive $200,000 from the revocable survivor’s trust and the residue was to be divided equally between their youngest two daughters. James died in 2006. In 2015, after receiving a notice by trustee and copy of the trust, Lynne filed a petition to remove Mildred as trustee and to declare the trust instrument a forgery. Following a 13-day court trial on the bifurcated forgery claim, the court determined that the trust instrument was not a forgery. Read more
Party may waive rights as surviving spouse by agreement if circumstances indicate the parties intended it to be a complete property settlement. Read more
LPS conservatees are similarly situated to persons found not guilty by reason of insanity for purposes of the right against compelled testimony. Read more
Party that fails to read agreement and consult with their attorney prior to signing is not entitled to rescind agreement based on unilateral mistake of fact as to the contents. Read more
The common law doctrine of special interest standing to enforce charitable trusts does not extend to revocable trusts. Read more
Laura petitioned for an elder abuse restraining order (EARO) against Debra based on her efforts to unduly influence Thomas, Laura’s father, including the procurement of a trust amendment disinheriting Thomas’s biological children. In requesting the EARO, Laura indicated the abuse was “solely financial” while also asserting that the harm to Thomas included “confusion and distress.” Read more

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