CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

Tag Archives: Beneficiary

Where’s the Will?? How Can I See The Will Of A Deceased Loved One?

Posted in Trust & Will Contests, Trusts, Uncategorized, Will Creation, Wills
THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THIS VIDEO. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE This is Keith A. Davidson from Albertson and Davidson. In this video, I want to talk to you about the differences between Wills and Trusts. A lot of times people think that Wills and Trusts are the same thing, that they’re the… Continue Reading

California Trustees Must Provide Beneficiaries and Heirs with Copies of Last Will, Living Trust, and Amendments

Posted in Trust Administration
I get calls every week from California Trust, Last Will, and Estate beneficiaries complaining that they can’t get their brother or sister, who is the Trustee and Executor of their parents’ estate plan, to provide copies of the parents’ estate plan after the parents have died. I usually suggest the following. First, send a letter… Continue Reading

The Settlor Made Me Do It: California Court Clarifies When Beneficiaries Can Sue Trustees…And When They Cannot

Posted in Trustee Breach of Trust
California Trust and Will litigation is like building a puzzle.  There are a lot of moving parts in most cases and trying to figure out how and when to put the parts together can be confusing. The Fourth District Court of Appeals recently set Trust litigators straight on how and when a Trustee can be… Continue Reading

The Backdoor Beneficiary: How Your New Spouse is Automatically a Beneficiary of Your Estate in California

Posted in Estate Planning
Love and marriage may go together (like a horse and carriage…), but marriage and estate planning may be another story. If a person creates a Will or a Trust in California and then subsequently marries, that person’s new spouse automatically becomes a beneficiary of the Will and Trust by operation of law.  Many times people… Continue Reading

Court Decision Causes Consternation for Arbitration Clauses in Trusts: Can a California Trust Beneficiary be Forced into Arbitration after Diaz?

Posted in Trust Contests
An interesting case, Diaz v. Bukey, was decided on May 10, 2011 by California’s Second Appellate District pertaining to the issue of whether a mandatory arbitration clause in a trust applies to a trust beneficiary. Justice Steven Z. Perren, writing for a unanimous Court, held that the beneficiary of a trust who did not agree… Continue Reading

“Ordinary” Attorney’s Fees and “Extraordinary” Attorney’s Fees in Probate

Posted in Fees & Expenses, Litigation
Marc Alexander’s and William M. Hensley’s outstanding blog on California attorney’s fees recently commented on Estate of Fernandez, where Justice O’Leary discussed the difference between “ordinary” and “extraordinary” attorney’s fees in the probate arena. So, what is the difference between “ordinary” and “extraordinary” attorney’s fees that you pay an attorney to “probate” your loved ones… Continue Reading

Trust Beneficiaries Have an Absolute Right to Copies of Their Parents’ Trust

Posted in Beneficiary
I receive several phone calls each week from upset Trust beneficiaries asking if their brother or sister, who is the Trustee of their parents’ Trust, is required to provide copies of the Trust to the beneficiary after both parents have died. The answer is—yes—Trustees are required under California law to provide copies of their parents’… Continue Reading

Trustee’s Fees Must Be Reasonable and for the Benefit of the Trust–Not the Benefit of the Trustee

Posted in Trust Administration
Bad trustees always seem to waste trust money defending their improper actions. Once a trust beneficiary challenges a trustee’s improper actions (breaches of trust), the trustee retaliates against the beneficiary. For example, the trustee may choose to suspend current monthly distributions, or in more extreme cases, attempt to have a no contest clause in a… Continue Reading

The Practical Considerations for Including a No Contest Clause in a Trust or Will

Posted in No Contest Clauses
In an earlier post we discussed the terrorizing effects of no contest clauses. For all the uncertainty the new no contest law has created—and the very real possibility that such clauses are rarely enforceable—many decedent’s doom the effectiveness of their own no contest clause themselves when including a no contest clause in their will or… Continue Reading

The Terrorizing Effects of No Contest Clauses

Posted in No Contest Clauses
No contest clauses were originally referred to as “In Terrorem” clauses. In Terrorem is Latin for “To Scare the Pants off my Beneficiaries”—loosely translated. And that’s what a no contest clause is supposed to do, prevent a trust or will contest by disinheriting a beneficiary who dares to contest the terms of the instrument. California… Continue Reading