Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Court Affirms Order Requiring Partition of Property Where Fiduciary’s Homestead Argument Failed

In Byrom v. Penn, Byrom was appointed executor of his mother’s estate, and he was later removed as executor for breach of fiduciary duty by using estate funds to build a house for himself. No. 12-15-00033-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

Plaintiff Who Could Not Afford to Pay for Arbitration Was Allowed to Pursue Her Malpractice Action in Court

Tillman adv. Rheingold Firm, No. 13-56624, 2016 BL 190432 (9th Cir. June 15, 2016) - Brief Summary - A former client who had agreed to arbitrate disputes with her lawyers, but ultimately could not afford to pay the...more

Court Affirms Judgment Against Executor That Deeded Estate Property To Himself

In In the Estate of Montemayor, the trial court entered summary judgment for an estate beneficiary on a claim to quiet title as against the independent executor, who had deeded estate property to himself. No. 04-15-00397-CV,...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In the Matter of Estate of Leon C. Chamberlain, 135 A.D.3d 1052 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 7, 2016) - Modification of trust terms is appropriate where limitations on investments permitted under trust instrument frustrated the...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- July 2016 #2

The first two weeks of July have brought us some warm weather and three new decisions worth noting: First, in Bank of America, N.A. v. Commissioner of Revenue, Docket No. SJC-11995 (July 11, 2016), the Supreme Judicial...more

Court Voided Judgment Based On Family Settlement Agreement Where Party Revoked Consent

In In re Estate of Spiller, a party appealed an order admitting a will to probate and ordering the independent administrator to distribute the estate in accordance with a family settlement agreement. No. 04-15-00449-CV, 2016...more

Court Affirms A Rule 202 Pre-Suit Deposition Order In A Will Contest And Discusses The Acceptance-Of-The-Benefits Doctrine

In In re Meeker, individuals sought a mandamus to reverse a trial court’s order granting a Rule 202 pre-suit deposition order. No. 02-16-00103-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6883 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 29, 2016, original...more

Court Affirms Power Of Attorney Holder’s Right To Revoke Gift

In Wise v. Mitchell, a power of attorney holder, Mitchell, filed a revocation of a deed that the principal issued to Wise. No. 05-15-00610-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6502 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 20, 2016, no pet. history). After...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- July 2016 #1

Two decisions issued in June will be of interest to probate litigators and estate planning lawyers. The Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a decision in late June with an interesting twist on the burden required to...more

Breaking News: Federal Court Finds Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Enforcement “Shocks the Conscience”

On June 28, 2016, the much-anticipated memorandum opinion of the US District Court for the District of Delaware in Temple-Inland, Inc. v. Cook et al., No. 14-654-GMS was released on the parties’ cross-motions for summary...more

Court Affirms Order Denying An Administrator’s Attorney’s Fees

In In re Estate of Williams, attorney Don Ford was appointed an administrator of an estate and hired himself as an attorney for the estate. No. 05-15-00392-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5990 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

Court Reverses A Probate Order Requiring An Executor To Distribute Real Property Free Of Any Liens

In In re Estate of Heider, a probate court ordered that an executor should distribute real property to a beneficiary free of liens. No. 05-14-00436-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5978 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

Court Reverses Decision On The Fair Market Value Of A Residence Due To The Surviving Spouse’s Interest

In Estate of Sloan, a wife died leaving her home, and her husband was the executor of her estate. No. 02-15-00198-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6465 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 16, 2016, no pet. history). The wife’s will left all...more

Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Guardianship Orders

A recent Virginia Supreme Court case highlights the importance of using precise language in an order appointing a guardian, as well as ensuring that when a guardian files suit on behalf of a ward, the guardian sues in the...more

Court Reverses New Trial Order After A Jury Verdict On A Trust Dispute

In In re Jones, there was a jury trial on the issue of whether a revocable trust was revoked such that the trustee, Jones, or the settlor’s executor, Coyle, had the right to the trust assets. No. 05-16-0081-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

Tables Turned: 21 States Tell Delaware to “Fork Over Our Unclaimed Property!"

The latest salvo in an ongoing battle against Delaware was fired on June 9, when 21 states, led by Texas and Arkansas, filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court to force Delaware to return to the States between $150 million...more

Unclaimed Property Hunger Games: States Seek Supreme Court Review in ‘Official Check’ Dispute

Background - As detailed in our blog last month, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. (MoneyGram) is stuck in between a rock and a hard place as states continue to duel with Delaware over the proper classification of (and...more

West Virginia Supreme Court- Medical Power of Attorney Does Not Have Power to Make Binding Legal Decisions for Incapacitated...

In May, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued a decision in the Wanda Williams v. CMO Management, LLC case. Robert Thompson suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and resided at a nursing facility preceding his...more

Missouri Bank Hit for Punitive Damages & Found Liable for Fiduciary’s Misappropriation of Funds

In Delarosa v. Farmer's State Bank, the Missouri Court of Appeals, W.D., expounded upon the duty imposed upon Missouri Banks under § 469.270 of the Missouri's Uniform Fiduciaries Law ("UFL"). Specifically, the court addressed...more

Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons Inc. - USCA, Sixth Circuit, May 16, 2016

Sixth Circuit concludes that author’s 1975 assignment of gospel song “I’ll Fly Away” was subject to 2008 termination notice, notwithstanding subsequent 1979 assignment of rights by late composer’s wife....more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- May 2016

In the past month, there were three decisions of note. First, in the case of Caffrey v. U.S. Trust, Case No. 15-P-920, 2016 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 454 (Apr. 27, 2016), the Appeals Court was confronted with the question...more

Misconduct Remedies Against an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

In a prior blog post, I discussed the duties of an agent under a power of attorney. In this blog post, I discuss the remedies that people have against an agent under a power of attorney when the agent commits misconduct....more

Paris Court of Appeal Rules on Forced Heirship, US Trusts and Legitimacy of Transforming Real Estate into a Moveable Asset using...

On 11 May 2016 in case no. 14/26247, the Paris Court of Appeal fully confirmed the judgment handed down by the Paris High Court on 2 December 2014 in case no. 10/05228, relating to the estate of Mr Maurice Jarre. By...more

Supreme Court Decision Establishes New Law Concerning The Rights Of Trustees In Rhode Island

In a case of first impression, the Rhode Island Supreme Court recognized a statutory right for trustees to recover their attorneys’ fees when a trust beneficiary refuses, without any basis, to release the trustee of his or...more

Breach of Trust Statute of Limitations Held Open for 10 Years - With New Summary Chart [Florida]

The concepts of statute of limitations and repose, and laches, exist to bring finality after the passage of time as to liability risks. Claims for breach of trust against a trustee can be subject to a confusing array of rules...more

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