California Lawyers Association

Trusts and Estates Case Alerts

Timely case alerts and updates from the Trusts and Estates Section

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
Where the trustee applied for an elder abuse restraining order (“EARO”), and the defendants responded with an anti-SLAPP motion, the court properly denied the anti-SLAPP motion but abused its discretion by declining to hear the EARO until after the anti-SLAPP motion. Read more
In probate of the estate of an intestate California decedent, clear and convincing evidence of a non-biological parent-child relationship established the presumption of natural parentage forming the basis of the claim of heirship, even though the parent-child relationship was effectuated outside California. Read more
A minor capable of making informed decisions has the right to petition for removal of a guardian ad litem and to retain counsel for that limited purpose.  The appointment of a guardian ad litem for a minor terminates when the minor reaches the age of majority. Read more
Probate Code section 850, which authorizes the return of real or personal property,  may not be used to obtain documents and communications. Read more

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