News & Analysis as of

Estate Claims

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

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

Look for Mild Cognitive Impairment in California Trust and Estate Disputes

by Downey Brand LLP on

Mental incapacity and undue influence are the most common theories used to try to invalidate wills, trusts and beneficiary designations in California and elsewhere. Occasionally, the subject in a trust and estate dispute has...more

Forcing the Production of Information in Probate Litigation When You Have Been Disinherited

by Reminger Co., LPA on

Can a disinherited person force the production of information necessary to substantiate the efforts required to pursue a challenge to a Will, beneficiary designation, or Trust? Isolation and manipulation of a loved one by...more

Ohio Court of Appeals Affirms Statutory Protections for Trustees

by Reminger Co., LPA on

Ten years after the first enactment of the Ohio Trust Code, in Zook, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank National Association, et al., 10th Dist. No. 15AP-751, 2017-Ohio-838, the Tenth District Ohio Court of Appeals gave insight...more

Presenting Creditor Claims Against Estates After Ohio Supreme Court’sDecision in Wilson v. Lawrence

by Reminger Co., LPA on

The Ohio Supreme Court provided more guidance regarding how creditors present their claims against estates with its ruling in Wilson v. Lawrence, Case Nos. 2015-2081, 2016-0180, 2017-Ohio-1410....more

Beware The Constructive Trust When Relying On ‘Informal’ Estate Distributions

by Bryan Cave on

We like when families can work out their estate disputes outside of the courtroom. Georgia, for one, embraces the “family settlement doctrine,” where heirs at law can agree to distribute or divide property devised under a...more

A Pair of Unbrotherly Business Altercations Go to Trial

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Like most civil cases, the vast majority of business divorce disputes get resolved before trial, which is disappointing for us voyeurs since only at trial with live witnesses undergoing cross examination does one get the full...more

UPDATE: Can an Intended (and Disappointed) Beneficiary Still Sue a Will’s Drafter?: The General Assembly of Virginia Enacts a...

by LeClairRyan on

Back in the summer I wrote a post discussing the impacts of the Thorsen decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia. In Thorsen, a testator wanted to leave her estate to a charity if her daughter did not survive her. The...more

Fiduciary Imprudence: When the Sale of an Asset Results in a Surcharge

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Although one of the many duties and responsibilities of an executor is to marshal and appraise estate assets, and, depending upon the dispositive terms of the governing instrument, liquidate them for purposes of distribution,...more

“Any and All” Doesn’t Preserve Any and All Estate Claims Post-Confirmation

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

The Bankruptcy Code permits Chapter 11 plans to provide for the reservation of any claims or interests that that belong to the debtor or the estate, allowing the plans to be confirmed prior to the final resolution of any and...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Allows Negligent Hiring Claim Despite Admission that Employee Acted Within Scope of Employment

by Reminger Co., LPA on

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently determined that a negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can continue to move through the trial court after finding that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor...more

Appellate Court Notes

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

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

Who Would Inherit Darth Vader’s Estate?

by LeClairRyan on

Who would be the beneficiary of the estate of Darth Vader? The answer is more than just an exercise in Star Wars fiction; in fact, the answer can teach us important lessons about estate disputes in our real world....more

Executrix Held Liable Under Federal Claims Statute For Actions Taken Prior to Appointment as Executrix

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

A decedent died while owing over $340,000 in unpaid federal income tax liabilities. His estate was insolvent. The assets of his estate consisted almost entirely of a 100% interest in one corporation and 50% of another...more

4 Steps To Take If An Estate Dispute Is Brewing

by LeClairRyan on

If an estate dispute is brewing (but is not yet in litigation), there are several important steps that people can take to maximize their odds of success if the matter proceeds to litigation. In the vast majority of...more

The Fictional Fight Over Han Solo’s Estate

by LeClairRyan on

Who would be the beneficiary of the estate of Han Solo?  Star Wars is obviously a fictional universe, and there is no indication in Episode 7 (or any other canon material that I’m aware of) that speaks to whether Han Solo had...more

Court Concludes Spouses’ Joint Will Was a Contractual Will and Imposes Constructive Trust to Enforce Terms of Joint Will

by Winstead PC on

In Estate of Pursley, a husband and wife (Harold Sr. and Mildred) with three children executed a joint will in 1975 that provided the survivor would take the entire estate “to be used, occupied, enjoyed, conveyed and expended...more

Court Held That A Beneficiary Could Not Usurp A Trustee’s Right To Direct Litigation And Did Not Have Standing To Sue The Trustee...

by Winstead PC on

In In re XTO Energy Inc., a beneficiary, on behalf of the trust, sued an oil and gas operator for allegedly not paying sufficient funds to the trust and also sued the trustee for refusing to bring that claim. No....more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 16, 2015

by Carlton Fields on

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Foreclosure/Standing: although bank established it had possession of note prior to commencement of action, bank did not demonstrate when blank endorsement was placed on note, nor did it prove it...more

Florida Supreme Court Holds for Extended Claims Period for Known or Ascertainable Creditor Claims [Florida]

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

In 2013 I wrote about the Golden case which ruled that a known or reasonably ascertainable creditor who did not receive a Notice to Creditors in a probate proceeding could file a claim against the estate up to 2 years after...more

Florida Supreme Court Settles Probate Creditor Claim Conflict

On October 1, 2015 the Florida Supreme Court held in Jones v. Golden that if a creditor of a probate estate is reasonably ascertainable and they never received a copy of the notice to creditors from the personal...more

No Charitable Set Aside Deduction for Estate Due to Litigation

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

Under Code Section 642(c)(2) an estate may claim a current charitable contribution deduction for income tax purposes, notwithstanding that the income earned will not be paid or used for a charitable purpose until sometime in...more

The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege: Whose Privilege is it in Litigation?

The attorney-client privilege is a cornerstone of the legal practice. The privilege protects the confidentiality of communications between a client and an attorney from disclosure to a third party when the communications are...more

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