CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

Category Archives: Trusts

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Time To Object To Your California Trust Or Will Lawsuit

Posted in Litigation, Trust Contests, Trustee Breach of Trust, Trustee Removal
When faced with a Probate Court Petition that you do not agree with, you must object. Luckily, in California you have some leeway on when you can object because our Probate Code allows interested parties to object orally at the initial hearing. In other words, you technically do not have to have a written objection… Continue Reading

Undue Influence: Convincing a Person NOT To Act

Posted in Capacity & Undue Influence, Trust Contests, Undue Influence, Videos, Will Contests
Can you unduly influence someone NOT to take an action?  In nearly all Trust and Will disputes, an undue influence claim is brought to overturn a Trust or Will that was executed while the elder was unduly influenced.  But not every Trust and Will case turns on action, sometimes inaction can be just as damaging.… Continue Reading

Can You Disinherit a Bad Trustee? The Tricky No-Contest Law in California Trust and Will Cases

Posted in No Contest Clauses, Trustee Breach of Trust, Trustee Removal
The ever confusing Trust and Will no-contest clause is continually being used and abused in California Trust and Will lawsuits. The irony is that a beneficiary is rarely, if ever, disinherited under a no-contest clause any more because the law is favorably skewed to prevent forfeiture. In other words, no-contest clauses simply do not apply… Continue Reading

Don’t I Need to Know? Must your parents tell you about California Trust changes?

Posted in Trust Amendment & Revocation, Trust Creation, Videos
It can be surprising to learn that a parent made a major Trust revision and never told you about it.  In this video, Keith A. Davidson discusses whether your parents have a duty to tell you about Trust changes. For our email subscribers, please click on the title link to watch this video on our… Continue Reading

Broken Promises: Are Oral Promises to Make a California Trust or Will Enforceable?

Posted in Beneficiary, Litigation, Probate, Probate Court Litigation, Trust Creation, Trustees & Beneficiaries, Will Creation, Wills
Is an oral promise to make a will or trust enforceable under California law? Contrary to what many believe, California law provides for the enforcement of oral promises to make a will or trust. How does the promise to make a will or trust arise? Generally, a parent orally promises a child, a friend, or… Continue Reading

A Fight from Start to Finish: How a California Trust can go from bad to worse…and then to Court

Posted in Trustee Breach of Trust, Trustee Removal, Trusts
There’s Trusts that run smoothly, there’s Trusts that have a few problems, and then there’s Trust where everything is a fight from start to finish.  Which Trust sounds most like yours? Smooth Sailing.  This is the way Trusts are supposed to work.  The successor Trustee takes over management of the Trust, the assets are collected and… Continue Reading

California Caretaker Arrested for Forgery and Identify Theft of Family’s Living Trust

Posted in Trust Contests
Last week the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s office announced that they have arrested a caretaker for alleged forgery and identity theft of a family’s living trust.  This is big deal because wrongdoers are so rarely arrested and charged for their criminal actions in Trust and Will cases.  According to the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s office,… Continue Reading

When is a Trust Like a Will? Appellate Court Confuses Capacity Rules for California Trust Amendments

Posted in Trust Amendment & Revocation
Think the law is always black and white?  Think again…at least when you are thinking of Trust vs. Will capacity.  From a legal perspective, capacity as it relates to Will and Trust creation is confusing—even for us lawyers.  Primarily because California Courts have not always applied consistent standards in evaluating capacity to make a Trust.… Continue Reading

Tales of the two-headed Trustee: How Co-Trustees can create a horror show for Trust administration.

Posted in Trust Creation
Just in time for Halloween, the creation of the two-headed Trustee.  They say two heads are better than one.  So why not have two Trustees manage your Trust estate, or better yet a two-headed Trustee. There can be strength in numbers.  And many Trusts are administered with skill and grace with two Trustees at the… Continue Reading

Will and Trust Creation: The basic requirements of California Trust and Will creation

Posted in Trust Creation, Videos, Will Creation
Keith A. Davidson describes in this video the basic requirements for creating a California Will and Trust. He refers to the basic creation elements as “formalities” and “intentionalities”, terms he uses in teaching California Will and Trust creation at Chapman Law School (which he borrowed from his own Trust and Will professor, Father O’brien (thank… Continue Reading

No-Contest Clauses Do Not Apply to Challenging a Trustee’s (or Executor’s) Actions

Posted in No Contest Clauses
The omnipresent no-contest clause (originally called in terrorum clauses–as in to terrify one’s beneficiaries) is meant to prevent lawsuits. The idea being that if a beneficiary contests a California Will or Trust containing the clause, then that beneficiary is entirely disinherited and loses his gift under the document (see our previous blog post on how no… Continue Reading
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