Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure

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Please Release Me, Let Me Go: Court Affirms The Appointment Of A Receiver Over Ray Price’s Assets Pending A Contest

In In re Estate of Price, Ray Price, a renowned country music singer and songwriter, died in 2013 and was survived by his wife and his biological son. No. 06-16-00062-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1265 (Tex. App.—Texarkana...more

Court Holds That A One-Line Will Should Have Been Admitted To Probate

In In the Estate of Setser, the decedent signed a 1993 will naming his daughter as the sole beneficiary. No. 01-15-00855-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 937 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] February 2, 2017, no pet. history). Later,...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - February 2017

Several recent decisions serve as a good reminder that it is not only the Probate and Family Court that addresses important T&E issues in Massachusetts. In the consolidated matters of Hanna et al. v. Williams et al.,...more

“Any and All” Doesn’t Preserve Any and All Estate Claims Post-Confirmation

The Bankruptcy Code permits Chapter 11 plans to provide for the reservation of any claims or interests that that belong to the debtor or the estate, allowing the plans to be confirmed prior to the final resolution of any and...more

Be Sure to Mind your Manners in Estate Litigation

Miss Manners may just be worth listening to for those involved in wills and estate litigation. In fact, not doing so may be to your detriment given that poor conduct can cost you with the courts....more

Personal Liability of Executors for Tax Liabilities of the Estate Under the Federal Priority Statute, 31 U.S.C. 3713

This is an appeal of summary judgment by the personal representative (the “PR”) of an estate. The lower court found the PR to be personally liable under the federal priority statute, Section 3713, for tax liabilities due from...more

Wealth Management Update - February 2017

February Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The February § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...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

Will Caveats Or “The Family Feud”

The North Carolina Court of Appeals on December 20, 2016, issued an opinion in a case involving a Will Caveat that arose in Alamance County. The facts of this recent case illustrate very clearly the emotional and contentious...more

Texas Supreme Court Accepts A Case Dealing With A No-Contest Clause

In Ard v. Hudson, a beneficiary sued testamentary trustees and executors for breach of fiduciary duty and also sought an accounting, temporary injunctive relief, and a receiver. No. 02-13-00198-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8727...more

Forgiveness May Be Available For An Untimely Caveat

It’s a new year and with it comes many resolutions. Each year, a popular resolution is to be more forgiving or to forgive someone who wronged you. Apparently, trying to get a head start on its resolutions, on December 30, the...more

Court Affirms Denial Of Statutory Bill Of Review From A Trust Contest

In In re Estate of Kam, Kam sought to set aside an order probating her brother’s will via a statutory bill of review because he purportedly lacked the requisite testamentary capacity to execute the will or the will was the...more

Essay: The Inter Vivos Branch of the Worthier Title Doctrine

Change for good reason is most appropriate. Sometimes it is superb, but change for the sake of change is usually wrong. It is regrettable and unjustifiable that an old and beneficial principle of law has been challenged as no...more

Expert Testimony Necessary On Standard Of Care? Maybe Sometimes, But Not Always.

Whether a plaintiff needs an expert witness in a breach of fiduciary duty case to testify on the standard of care is a frequently debated topic. In Heisinger v. Cleary, the Supreme Court of Connecticut weighed in on one side...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Allows Negligent Hiring Claim Despite Admission that Employee Acted Within Scope of Employment

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently determined that a negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can continue to move through the trial court after finding that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor...more

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

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

Family Law: Corporate and Trust Challenges to Service of Process and Jurisdiction

The president of a corporation, manager of a limited liability company, trustee of a family trust, or principal of another business entity receives a summons in a Florida divorce case. One spouse contends the other’s control,...more

Pro Bono Appeal: Navigating Inconsistencies in Posthumous DNA Testing Statutes

Family Court Act § 519 and Estates Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”) § 4-1.2 both address a child’s right to prove paternity after the putative father’s death. However, DNA testing may be considered under Family Court Act § 519...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - December 2016

The last several weeks have brought us two decisions in which issues of family law intersected with T&E issues. First, the decision in Heystek v. Duncan, Case No. 15-P-1201, 2016 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1113 (Nov. 21,...more

Update Beneficiary Designations After Divorce or Annulment

On July 1, 2015, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held, with a few exceptions, upon entry of a final judgment of dissolution or annulment, any provision of a will that “affects” a former spouse is void under...more

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

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

South Carolina Federal Court Makes Two Rulings On Motions To Dismiss In Dispute Involving Reinsurance Trust Agreements

This case was previously reported by us on our blog on January 5, 2016, June 28, 2016 and July 20, 2016. For the full procedural background, we refer to the recent November 3, 2016 and November 16, 2016 decisions. In sum,...more

How Far Can A Grantor Go In Eliminating The Duty To Account?

Trusts are often used to transfer wealth privately without the messiness of a public estate administration. That financial privacy can get blown, however, when trusts become the subjects of very public litigation. ...more

The Uniform Trust Decanting Act's conflicting commentary

The texts of the myriad trust-related uniform statutes could be better coordinated and synchronized. So also could the official commentaries that accompany the myriad sections of the individual uniform statute. Take, for...more

A Flood . . . in the Basement

Having examined countless witnesses in probate and other contested Surrogate’s Court proceedings, many of us have grown accustomed to learning that critical documents were destroyed by a “flood.” That flood, almost...more

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