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Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure

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

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

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

Chris Lazarini Examines Unconscionability Claims in Arbitration Clause

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini examined a case in which a plaintiff filed a breach of fiduciary duty claim in federal court and opposed defendants' efforts to move the claims to arbitration. The plaintiff claimed...more

A not so special leave – Mercanti v Mercanti [2017] HCA 1

by Dentons on

The High Court has recently dismissed an application for special leave to appeal the Western Australian Court of Appeal’s decision in Mercanti v Mercanti [2016] WASCA 206, in respect of a case involving amendments to a family...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

Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Estate Dispute Opinion

by LeClairRyan on

Back in June of this year, the Virginia Supreme Court handed down a ruling in an estate dispute case that, while it didn’t particularly break new legal ground, provides a helpful overview of the current state of Virginia law...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - August 2017

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

In Passero v. Fitzsimmons et al., No. 16-P-1314, 2017 WL 3567496, (August 17, 2017), the Appeals Court affirmed the lower court’s finding that the defendant trustees committed a breach of trust, as well as the lower court’s...more

Court Affirms Arbitration Decision Arising From Trust Dispute

by Winstead PC on

In Saks v. Rogers, a beneficiary of a trust challenged a trial court’s enforcement of an arbitration decision. No. 04-16-00286-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6923 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 26, 2017, no pet. history)....more

Chris Lazarini Discusses Arbitration Clause's Application to Non-Signatory

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini discussed a case involving a Plaintiff's suit against a broker-dealer involving his deceased mother's IRA account. Although Plaintiff was a non-signatory to the IRA account...more

Court Reverses Finding of Undue Influence

by Bryan Cave on

Undue influence occurs when a person’s free will is overpowered and replaced by the will of another. In Missouri, a finding of undue influence generally requires the person who exerted influence to have been in a position of...more

Court Held That Estate Representative Was Entitled To Discover Documents To Establish A Claim

by Winstead PC on

In In re Cokinos, Boisien & Young, a representative of an estate of a deceased attorney sought documents from a law firm related to an alleged agreement to share fees. No. 05-16-01331-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6911 (Tex....more

Citizenship of Aircraft Owner Trustee Establishes Federal Court Diversity Jurisdiction

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Southern District of New York has confirmed that when the trustee of a non-citizen aircraft trust brings suit in its own name, the citizenship of that trustee may be used to establish diversity jurisdiction in federal...more

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