News & Analysis as of

Civil Remedies Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read Civil Remedies updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Court Declines To Quash Subpoena Issued To South Carolina Department Of Insurance In Companion Property Case

by Carlton Fields on

We previously reported on this case on January 5, 2016, June 28, 2016, July 20, 2016, and December 14, 2016. The case concerns Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Company’s participation in a fronted insurance program...more

Texas Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Texas Recognizes A Tortious Interference With Inheritance Claim

by Winstead PC on

In Anderson v. Archer, the trial court’s judgment awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million in damages based on a tortious interference with inheritance claim. No. 03-13-00790-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2165 (Tex. App.—Austin March...more

May a vindicated trustee be reimbursed personally from the trust estate even for those defense costs that were covered by his...

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

As to whether the vindicated trustee’s claim against the trust estate for defense counsel’s fees should be offset by payments made to defense counsel by the trustee’s personal liability insurance carrier, at least one court...more

Two layers of photo ownership in conflict in street photography case

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

“I own the photos.” It seems like a simple statement, but in copyright law, ownership isn’t simple. One person can own physical photographs, but not have the right to use them, because someone else owns the copyrights....more

On Its Own Motion

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

While most decisions rendered by the Surrogate’s Court result from an affirmative request for relief, occasionally the court will address an issue on its own motion when justice or the exercise of its inherent or statutory...more

Case Law Precedent for an Award of Attorney Fees in Excess of Compensatory Damages for a Trustee’s Failure to Account

by Reminger Co., LPA on

Following up on the recent blog post on basic principles of trust reporting, the Fifth District Court of Appeals released a timely analysis involving a trustee’s failure to account and an award of attorney fees against the...more

Constructive Trusts Can Catch Wayward Trust Assets

by Downey Brand LLP on

Trustees in California trust disputes should not overlook the power of the constructive trust remedy as a way to recover errant trust assets. That’s a takeaway from Higgins v. Higgins (2017) __ Cal.App.5th __, an opinion in a...more

Florida Alert: Can a Liability Carrier be Sued for Bad Faith when Its Insured Was Not Exposed to Liability In Excess of the Policy...

by Cozen O'Connor on

The Third District Court of Appeals finding recently held that in certain circumstances, a third party can maintain a bad faith claim against an insurer even if the insured is not exposed to liability in excess of the policy...more

Allowing in parol evidence as to a trust-settlor's intent: Construing trust terms versus reforming them

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

In the Missouri case of Mense v. Rennick, 491 S.W.3d 661 (Mo. App. 2016), the testimony of the settlor-beneficiary of an irrevocable trust as to what she had intended was not allowed in, the court having determined that the...more

IRS Issues Guidance Regarding Estate Tax Lien Discharge Process

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

When an individual dies, an estate tax lien attaches automatically to all of the property included in the gross estate. It arises prior to tax assessment, and is not recorded....more

Court Enforces Release Agreement Between Trustees/Executors and A Beneficiary

by Winstead PC on

In Harrison v. Harrison Interests, a beneficiary of an estate and multiple trusts had a dispute with the executors and trustees. No. 14-15-00348-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1677 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] February 28, 2017,...more

Residual liability in the trust context of excluded fiduciaries

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

Some states by statute have introduced into their trust jurisprudence the concept of the excluded fiduciary: In the case of a trust the terms of which allocate fiduciary functions between the trustee and, say, a trust...more

Ferri v. Powell-Ferri

Ferri v. Powell-Ferri: A trust decanting decision that is less than meets the eye

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The Supreme Court of Connecticut (SCC) certified three trust-decanting questions of law to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) incident to a divorce proceeding. On March 20, 2017, the SJC rendered its answers to...more

Statute of Limitations and Collections Process Against Executrix and Agent for Estate Tax Deficiency

United States v. Holmes - 2016 WL 4363398 (SD Tex. Aug. 16, 2016) Summary - Summary judgment was sought by both the taxpayers and the Government for an estate tax liability. The taxpayers contended that the...more

Court Affirms Ruling That Adopted Adult Children Were Beneficiaries Of A Trust

by Winstead PC on

In Andresakis v. Modisett, the trustors signed trust agreements in 1976 and 1981, and each agreement created three trusts, one for their daughter, one for their son, and a third trust for their only grandchild, Andresakis....more

Texas Supreme Court Will Determine Whether Texas Recognizes A Tortious Interference With Inheritance Claim

by Winstead PC on

Today, the Texas Supreme Court granted a petition for review in Jackson Walker, LLPO v. Kinsel, No. 07-13-00130-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 3586 (Tex. App.—Amarillo April 10, 2015, pet. granted). The Court’s staff attorney...more

Court of Appeals Granted Mandamus Relief To Transfer Venue To County Where A Trust Was Administered

by Winstead PC on

In In re Green, a beneficiary filed suit against a trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of corporate funds. No. 08-16-00233-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12830 (Tex. App.—El Paso December 2, 2016, original...more

Federal Court Dismisses Beneficiary’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim For Lack of Jurisdiction

by Winstead PC on

In Strouse v. Strouse, a beneficiary sued an executor of an estate for breach of fiduciary duty. No. 4:16cv707, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155630 (E.D. Tex. September 27, 2016). Federal district courts are courts of limited...more

The public policy case against retroactively applying new trust law

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The Supreme Court of Bermuda by statute amendment (Dec. 11, 2015) has been granted a power to declare that the rule against perpetuities shall not apply to a trust instrument executed before the amendment’s effective date,...more

Court Affirms Finding That Will Was Lost And Not Revoked

by Winstead PC on

In In the Estate of Burrell, a trial court admitted a copy of will to probate, and a contestant appealed. No. 09-14-00345-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 10421 (Tex. App.—Beaumont September 22, 2016, no pet. history). This case was...more

Appellate Court Notes

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19516 - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp. SC19516 Concurrence - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp. SC19516 Concurrence - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America...more

Texas Fiduciary Litigation Update: 2015-2016

by Winstead PC on

The fiduciary field in Texas is a constantly changing area. Over time, statutes change, and Texas courts interpret those statutes, the common law, and parties’ documents differently. This paper is intended to give an update...more

Court Dismisses Appeal From Order Appointing A Temporary Administrator And Reverses Temporary Injunction

by Winstead PC on

In Harris v. Taylor, Harris challenged a probate court’s interlocutory order appointing a temporary administrator and a temporary injunction order enjoining her from accessing certain financial accounts. No. 01-15-00925-CV,...more

Court Enforces Trust Even Though The Trust Document Was Missing

by Winstead PC on

In Gause v. Gause, a son brought suit to affirm the existence of a trust established by his father. No. 03-13-00768-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8138 (Tex. App.—Austin June 29, 2016, no pet. history). ...more

Do not break the trust after a trust is created - The law on concurrence examined

by Dentons on

Dentons Rodyk acted for Mdm Harianty Wibawa, the settlor of an offshore discretionary trust which has a value exceeding US$45 million (taking into account distributions of some US$10 million). One of the beneficiaries and the...more

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