Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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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In In re Jones, there was a jury trial on the issue of whether a revocable trust was revoked such that the trustee, Jones, or the settlor’s executor, Coyle, had the right to the trust assets.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

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36842 - Antonucci v. Antonucci - In this divorce action, the parties had been married for twenty-five years and had two adult children, and had comparable incomes of about...more

Court Increases Father’s Child Support Payment Due to Inheritance

In the 2015 Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion E.R.L. v. C.K.L., the Court found that Father’s significant inheritance was a sufficient reason to increase his child support payment for the parties’ three children....more

Prince: Is His Legacy Really Untold?

As we’ve all seen in the news, musician Prince passed away on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57. According to news sources, on April 26, just five days later, one of Prince’s six siblings, his sister Tyka Nelson, filed...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- April 2016

On March 25, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a breach of fiduciary duty case that turns, in part, on an analysis of the Supreme Judicial Court’s 2014 decision on damages in the widely-discussed matter of...more

Court Affirms Holding That A Trust Owns Stock That Was Issued To The Trustee In His Individual Capacity

In Dutcher v. Dutcher-Phipps Crane & Rigging, Inc., a trust owned twenty percent of a family limited partnership that in turn owned a family business. No. 08-15-00202-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3809 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2016, no...more

Estate of Clara M. Morrissette Secures Victory in Groundbreaking Estate Tax Case

In a case of first impression, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer whose estate planning focused on the preservation and succession of a 70-year-old family-owned business. In Estate of Clara M....more

Court Holds That Order Allowing A Successor Trustee And Reinstating A Prior Trustee Is Appealable

In In re Tipps, an elderly woman’s son became trustee of a trust due to her incompetency, and the son and his brother went to a mediation concerning a guardianship proceeding and other issues. No. 05-14-01495-CV, 2016 Tex....more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19384 - State v. Carter - SC19282 - State v. Peeler - Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC37262 - Dumbauld v. Dumbauld - AC37262 Concurrence -...more

New York Supreme Court Dismisses ACE Action Re-Asserting Repurchase Claims against DB Structured Products

On March 29, 2016, Justice Marcy Friedman of the New York Supreme Court rejected the trustee’s attempt to renew previously dismissed claims in ACE Securities v. DB Structured Products, Inc. As we previously reported, the...more

TN COA: Trustee Lacked Authority To Enter Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently held that a trustee’s signature of brokerage account agreement containing a pre-dispute arbitration clause did not bind the trust’s minor beneficiary. The Court held that an “all...more

Detecting and Defending Financial Elder Abuse

It is estimated that six million seniors are subject to financial elder abuse each year. Financial elder abuse can take many forms: deceptive advertising for products with hidden charges or that simply do not work as...more

Florida Court Says it’s Not Fraud When Misrepresentations are Made During Settlement Negotiations

When settling a case, litigators are naturally focused on avoiding “Round 2” of the litigation for their clients. Toward this goal, lawyers avoid drafting settlement agreements that include any sort of representations or...more

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