Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Remedies

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Court Grants Mandamus Relief To Void Order Naming An Executor More Than Three Years After Admitting Will To Probate As A Muniment...

In In re Squyres, in 2012, Baker filed with the probate court an application to probate a will as a muniment of title. No. 01-16-00236-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8509 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] August 9, 2016, no pet....more

Do the Provisions of the Judicial Code Automatically Apply in Eminent Domain Cases? The Commonwealth Court Recently Said No.

On June 22, 2016, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decided the case of Township of Millcreek v. Angela Cres Trust of June 25, 1998, 1725 C.D. 2015, which decided whether 42 Pa.C.S. § 5505 applies to eminent domain cases. ...more

Missouri Commercial Receivership Act Creates a New Statutory Scheme Which Presents a More Robust Remedy

The Missouri Commercial Receivership Act (MCRA), passed by the Missouri legislature and just signed into law by Governor Nixon, becomes effective Aug. 28, 2016. It expands, clarifies and fleshes out the existing minimal...more

May the donee of a limited testamentary power of appointment irrevocably and immediately exercise it inter vivos by contract?

The Delaware Chancery Court [In re Estate of Tigani, C.A No. 7339-ML (Del. Ch. Ct. Feb. 12, 2016)] has confirmed that the donee of a limited testamentary power of appointment may not irrevocably, immediately, and effectively...more

IRS Tax Liens and Discretionary Trust Interests - Part 2

In April, I wrote how a U.S. District Court held that a beneficiary’s discretionary interest could be liened by the IRS for tax liabilities of the beneficiary. The interest was “halfway” between a purely discretionary...more

Court Affirms Finding Of Informal Fiduciary Relationship Between Step-Mother and Step-Son Based On Decision To Not Resuscitate...

In Shearer v. Shearer, Corrine and John were married from 1990 until 2008. No. 12-14-00302-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5685 (Tex. App.—Tyler May 27, 2016, no pet. history). John became ill in 2009 and was admitted to a hospital...more

Sole interest or best interest: Equity's traditional default loyalty principle is under attack

Some in academia have been advocating that trustees generally be held to a best-interest-of-beneficiary default standard rather than the traditional and more rigorous sole-interest-of-beneficiary default standard. See Loring...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

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

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

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

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

Asbestos Alert: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Legislation

When asbestos litigation became extremely costly to defend, to settle and to pay judgments, companies began filing for protection under the Bankruptcy laws. In the three decades since Johns Manville and UNR Industries filed...more

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