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Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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

Harper Lee’s Will Unsealed

by Holland & Hart LLP on

As The New York Times recently reported, the will of Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was recently unsealed in connection with a lawsuit seeking access to the document. Ms. Lee died a resident of Monroeville,...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

Will the “Real” Representative Please Stand – Litigation in Estate Proceedings

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

Last month, the Supreme Court of South Carolina, in Fisher v. Huckabee, 2018 WL 1076808 (Feb. 28, 2018), addressed the question of who may bring a suit on behalf of a deceased individual if the personal representative has a...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

Is the Statute of Limitations Really Running?

by Holland & Hart LLP on

The concept of a statute of limitations is easy to understand: a lawsuit has to be commenced within so many years after the complained of act occurred or pursuit of the lawsuit may be forever barred. Where it gets tricky are...more

Undue Influence in Virginia: Does the Undue Influencer Have to Be a Beneficiary?

by LeClairRyan on

Without question, one of the most common estate disputes we see centers around allegations that one person unduly influenced another person to write (or re-write) a will or trust. The typical situation involves an elderly...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

Court Reverses Trial Court’s Order Denying An Application To Probate A Will As A Muniment of Title

by Winstead PC on

In Ramirez v. Galvan, a probate court denied the application for probate of a will as a muniment of title where the application was filed more than four years after the testator’s death. No. 03-17-00101-CV, 2018 Tex. App....more

Florida’s Fiduciary Lawyer-Client Privilege Adopted by the Florida Supreme Court

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court adopted section 90.5021, Fla. Stat. – Florida’s fiduciary lawyer-client privilege – to the extent it is procedural and held that the decision is retroactive to the Florida legislature’s...more

Court Held That Power-Of-Attorney Holder Was Not Authorized To Name Himself As A Beneficiary Of The Principal’s Insurance Policy,...

by Winstead PC on

In Transamerica Life Ins. Co. v. Quarm, Thomas Quarm obtained a life insurance policy and designated his mother as his beneficiary and his brother, Nicholas, as the alternate beneficiary. No. EP-16-CV-295-KC, 2017 U.S. Dist....more

Court Reverses Jury Verdict And Holds That Trustor Could Not Revoke Trust

by Winstead PC on

In Coyle v. Jones, two sisters fought over the whether $197,000 belonged to their mother’s estate or to a trust. No. 05-16-00876-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11173 (Tex. App.—Dallas November 30, 2017, no pet. history). ...more

First Department Affirms that an LLC’s Operating Agreement Trumps Delaware Law

A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, First Department recently affirmed a ruling by the Commercial Division dismissing causes of action against the ACE Group International LLC (“AGI”) brought by the estate of the...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

Staying the Course: Courts Will Not Hear Stayed Actions

by Bennett Jones LLP on

In Ayoungman v Ayoungman, 2017 ABCA 333, the Court of Appeal of Alberta considered a dismissed application of the appellant, who claimed that the chambers judge did not give him a fair chance to argue his position....more

Delaware Contractarian Principles Prevail in Appeal Over Deceased Ace Hotel Founder’s LLC Interest

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

The sudden death of Alexander Calderwood, the brilliant but troubled co-founder of the Ace brand of hotels, resulted in some fierce litigation between Calderwood’s estate and Calderwood’s LLC co-member over the nature of his...more

Court Held That Will Contestant Expressly Waived Right To Appeal From Bench Trial

by Winstead PC on

In Estate of Crawford, after the first day of a will contest, the parties’ attorneys announced on the record that they agreed that neither party would assert a claim for attorney’s fees via a good-faith finding and that they...more

Recent Pennsylvania Superior Court Case Addresses the Messy Business of Divorce, Postnuptial Agreements and Death

A woman who dropped divorce proceedings three days after her husband died is entitled to the proceeds from his insurance policy but cannot claim his pension benefits, according to a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling...more

Court Holds That Lender Did Not Have Standing To Sue An Estate For A Deficiency After Electing That Its Claim Is A Preferred Debt...

by Winstead PC on

In In re Estate of Chapman, Peoples Bank (the Bank) conducted a non-judicial foreclosure sale of secured real estate owned by an estate and then sued the administrator of the estate in district court due to a deficiency...more

Surrogate’s Court Sets Aside Fraudulent Conveyance Violative of Contract to Make a Testamentary Disposition

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

A person who executes a valid agreement to make a testamentary disposition as to a specific item of property is precluded from making an alternative disposition, either during lifetime or upon death. ...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

by McGuireWoods LLP on

In the most recent installment of the McGuireWoods Fiduciary Advisory Services annual multipart series on recent fiduciary cases, developments in the law concerning various topics are examined through the following: ...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

November Trust and Estates Litigation Advisory

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

Since our last newsletter, there has been one significant development in the Probate and Family Court, and one decision of note. First, effective as of November 20, 2017, the Probate and Family Court issued Standing...more

2017 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory

by Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP on

The fourth quarter of 2017 concludes a unique year in the planning arena. With the new administration and a Republican-led Congress in power, both taxpayers and tax professionals have kept a close eye on the potential for tax...more

A Last Will And Testament Can Always Be Changed (Before Death)

It is a fundamental principle of law that a Last Will and Testament duly signed and witnessed is binding on no one until the person who signed the Will dies. That is to say that a person who signs a Will in say January of...more

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