Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure

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Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19586 - Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission - The Court started off by saying..... We have not previously had occasion to squarely address..... [this]...more

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Court Holds That Will Did Not Revoke Inter Vivos Trust

In Gordon v. Gordon, a man and his wife executed a revocable trust agreement and began to fund the trust. No. 11-14-00086-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3357 (Tex. App.—Eastland March 31, 2016, no pet. history). The couple later...more

Court Affirmed Holding That Trust Owned Real Estate And Was Entitled To Attorney’s Fees

In Courtade v. Estrada, Estrada created an inter vivos irrevocable trust and deeded real estate into the trust. No. 02-14-00295-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3105 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth March 24, 2016, no pet. history). Two days...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC38454 - In re Daniel N. AC36701 - State v. Adams - AC36701 Dissent - State v. Adams - AC37362 - Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Thompson...more

When is a Will Not a Will? Court Determines that “Will” Was Not a Valid Will or a Valid Gift Deed and that Decedent Later Lacked...

In Lemus v. Aguilar, relatives fought over ownership of a decedent’s home. No. 04-14-00609-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2685 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Mar. 16, 2016, no pet. h.). ...more

Molek v. Molek and Parol Partitions

Oral agreements to partition lands are tricky situations that must be dealt with carefully when analyzing the title to a piece of property. Known legally as parol partitions, these agreements often arise in the context of...more

Doctrinal Wall Blocks Unincorporated Entity from Diversity Jurisdiction

In Americold Realty Trust v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., et al. (No. 14-1382, decided 3/7/16), the Supreme Court of the United States applied its “oft-repeated rule” regarding the citizenship of unincorporated entities to a Maryland...more

Supreme Court Severely Restricts Federal-Court Access for Non-Corporate Entities, Including Certain REITs and RICs

Business trusts, statutory trusts and non-corporate real-estate investment trusts now face a significant jurisdictional barrier that will reduce their access to the federal courts, following a March 7 ruling by the U.S....more

Court Affirmed Judgment That A Deed By A Trustee Without Specifying The Trustee’s Capacity Transferred Trust Property

In West 17th Res. LLC v. Pawelek, children of a grantor sued the grantees, alleging that the grantor did not convey a trust’s ownership interest in the property because the grantor did not indicate her capacity as a trustee...more

How Property Was Titled Did Not Control Disposition Of Asset

A deed transfers a lake cottage to a revocable living trust. Title to the cottage is still in the name of that trust when the grantors die. The cottage gets distributed according to the terms of that trust, right? ...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

Partition Me? Unmarried Joint Tenants with Full Rights of Survivorship Fail to State a Claim

In the recent case of Hrit v McKeon, No 317988, 2015 WL 447474 (Mich Ct App Feb 3, 2015), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a plaintiff failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted when she filed an action...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 10, No. 1

Recent Case Illustrates Importance of Keeping Legal Entities in Good Standing - A recent United States Tax Court case illustrates the importance of keeping legal entities in good standing. In Medical Weight Control...more

Recent Superior Court Decision Underscores Difficulty and Need for Caution When Determining Appealability of Orphans' Court Orders

For several years, Pennsylvania judges, lawyers, and (even) rulemakers have struggled to define when an order entered in an Orphans’ Court proceeding is immediately appealable. The issue, of course, is critical, because...more

California Supreme Court to Review Controversial Documentary Transfer Tax Case

The California Court of Appeal recently held, in 926 North Ardmore Avenue v. County of Los Angeles, that a documentary transfer tax is triggered when a transfer of an interest in a business entity that owns real property...more

Ambac Sues Countrywide For Alleged Fraud in Connection with $1.7 Billion in RMBS

On December 27, Ambac Assurance Corporation filed a complaint against several Countrywide entities and Bank of America Corporation in New York state court, seeking to recover at least $600 million in damages in connection...more

Second Circuit Holds that Trust Indenture Act Does Not Apply and Dismisses RMBS Investor Claims Against BNY Mellon

On December 23, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed claims against Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee, by four pension funds in a putative class action relating to 530 Countrywide RMBS trusts...more

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