News & Analysis as of

Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure

Read Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning updates, articles, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:

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

The Court of Appeals Examines the Promissory Estoppel/Statute of Frauds Relationship

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

In the past, New York Courts have demonstrated a willingness to apply the theory of promissory estoppel, to overcome the legal requirements of the Statute of Frauds. The Restatement (Second) of Contract, Section 139, endorses...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

Petition Denied to Remove Wilmington Trust as the Trustee of du Pont Family Trusts

by Morris James LLP on

Wilmington Trust serves as the sole trustee for certain du Pont Family Trusts established in the 1940s and 1950s. For many years, Wilmington Trust was closely associated with the du Pont family, and was managed in part by...more

Determining Whether There Has Been Undue Influence

The presumption of undue influence when the evidence demonstrates that a person in a confidential relationship with a grantor or testator of weakened intellect receives a substantial portion of the grantor/testator’s property...more

How John Steinbeck’s Estate Planning Missteps Led to Family Feud and $13 Million Jury Award

When celebrated author John Steinbeck died in the late 1960s, he left a considerable literary legacy that included the classic American novels The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and the novella Of Mice and Men. He also...more

Alan Thicke Estate Dispute Highlights Pre-litigation Threats

by LeClairRyan on

Actor Alan Thicke – best known for his role on the TV show Growing Pains – passed away at the end of 2016, leaving behind a dispute between two of his sons and his third wife. ...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

Anti-SLAPP Case Features Arm Wrestling Siblings and a Prep School

by Downey Brand LLP on

California’s anti-SLAPP statute has generated another published case for trust and estate lawyers to ponder. Last week, in Urick v. Urick (2017) ___ Cal.App.5th ___, the California Court of Appeal confirmed that anti-SLAPP...more

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