News & Analysis as of

Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Remedies

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

Highest Court Affirms Insurance Company’s Interpleader

by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC on

On March 13, 2018, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held that an insurance company can pay the proceeds of a life insurance policy into the court when there is a dispute as to who is the rightful beneficiary. At...more

Should an Estate or Trust Operate a Decedent’s Family-Owned Business?

by Murtha Cullina on

When a business owner dies, his or her ownership interests often become part of a probate estate or are transferred to one or more trusts in order to continue the operations of the business. But sometimes the decedent’s...more

Trust Beneficiary Permitted to Contest Trust Despite No-Contest Clause

Key Takeaway: In Ginsberg et. al. v. Ginsberg et. al., Judge Leibensperger ruled that a trust beneficiary could assert a trust was procured by fraud despite the presence of a in terrorem or no-contest clause. Judge...more

Court Held That Estate Beneficiary Did Not Have Standing To Assert Forfeiture Or Breach Claim Against Executrix’s Attorneys, That...

by Winstead PC on

In re Nunu, an estate beneficiary sued the executrix to have her removed due to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and also sought to have the court refuse to pay her attorneys in representing her in a removal action and/or...more

Georgia Superior Court Could Not Sanction Probate Court Conduct

by Bryan Cave on

Probate court practice can be quirky, fraught with procedural peculiarities and appellate traps for those who do not regularly practice there. Appeals from a Georgia county probate court to that county’s superior court – an...more

Watch the Calendar When Considering Claims in Connection With a Family-Owned Business

by Murtha Cullina on

Shareholders of family-owned businesses sometimes assert claims of misconduct against their co-owner relatives. These claims can take the form of oral complaints or written claim letters. ...more

Limitations Period Doesn't Apply to Tribal Claim for Mismanagement of Trust Funds - Court of Federal Claims Ruling May Expand...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

• A decision by the Court of Federal Claims has important implications for breach of trust claims involving tribal trust funds. • Most claims for mismanagement of tribal trust resources are limited to the six-year period...more

Court Held That Retirement Benefits Belonged To The Worker’s Sister, Who Was Designated Beneficiary, And Not The Wife

by Winstead PC on

In Estate of Gibson, a man named his sister as the beneficiary of his retirement plan in 1989. No. 06-17-00059-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 9963 (Tex. App.—Texarkana October 13, 2017, no pet.)....more

Court Denies Request For Mandamus Relief Regarding Court Order Requiring Spouse of Deceased Trustee To Prepare An Accounting

by Winstead PC on

In In re Ng, after a jury found that a deceased trustee did not breach fiduciary duties, a trial court nonetheless ordered the deceased trustee’s spouse to prepare an accounting of the trust. No. 09-17-00386-CV, 2017 Tex....more

Court Held That Statutory Probate Court Had Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over Trust Dispute

by Winstead PC on

In Barcroft v. Walton, a statutory probate court entered sanctions, struck a defendant’s pleadings, and entered a default judgment against a defendant in a trust case. No. 02-16-00110-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 8541 (Tex....more

Could seeking judicial enforcement of a trust's no-contest clause implicate the state's anti-SLAPP statute?

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

On January 1, 2013, I posted on JDSUPRA some content entitled "Trial lawyers beware of the in terrorem trust clause: A nasty trap that can keep on springing," which is still accessible. The focus of the piece is the lawyer...more

Texas Supreme Court Will Hear Oral Argument On Whether Texas Recognizes A Claim For Tortious Interference With Inheritance Rights

by Winstead PC on

On October 11, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Anderson v. Archer, No. 03-13-00790-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2165 (Tex. App.—Austin March 2, 2016, pet. filed). In Anderson, the trial court’s judgment...more

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

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

Court Affirms Judgment For Estate Representative Due To A Statute-Of-Limitations Tolling Statute

by Winstead PC on

In Kaptchinskie v. Estate of Kirchner, the purchasers of property sued an estate to establish that the estate’s claim under a note was extinguished by the statute of limitations. No. 14-15-01080-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7012...more

Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Will Contest Where There Was No Evidence Of Undue Influence

by Winstead PC on

In Estate of Frye, parties filed an application to set aside an order probating a will due to an allegation of undue influence. No. 07-16-00398-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6992 (Tex. App.—Amarillo July 26, 2017, no pet....more

Trust Protectors, Trust Directors, and the Uniform Directed Trust Act

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The Uniform Directed Trust Act (the “Act”), approved July 19, 2017 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, purports to govern irrevocable directed trusts. For purposes of the Act a directed trust is...more

Serial Suers and Vexatious Litigants: Can Courts Prevent Someone From Filing a Lawsuit?

by LeClairRyan on

The vexatious litigant is a problem that civil litigation attorneys very likely encounter at least once during their careers. It is a well-accepted precept that courts exist, in part, for citizens to seek redress for their...more

Court Reviews Damages For Mental Anguish, Exemplary Damages, and Other Categories For A Trustee’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

by Winstead PC on

In Wells Fargo v. Militello, a trustee appealed a judgment from a bench trial regarding a beneficiary’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud. No. 05-15-01252-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5640 (Tex....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

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

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

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

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