Trusts & Estates Bulletin
A Compendium of Recent Cases
Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section * Volume 1, Number 5 * September, 2005
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(Cases appear in chronological order, with the oldest cases appearing first.)
Where wife allegedly made oral promise to husband that she would waive in writing her community property interest in husband’s retirement accounts in exchange for husband’s waiver of his community property interest in family home but no such writing was ever made, husband’s performance of his part of the alleged bargain did not--under Family Code provision requiring that transmutations of property be in writing--serve as an adequate substitute for wife’s express written statement changing the retirement accounts into husband’s separate property.
In re Marriage of Benson - filed August 11, 2005
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0805%2FS122254
-Trusts and Estates-
Trial court erred in granting motion to enforce settlement of trust dispute where terms of settlement agreement were so ambiguous that judge had to interpret parties’ intent rather than merely require that they implement what they had agreed upon. Award of fees to trustee’s attorney, payable from proceeds of trust, was an abuse of discretion where trustee was not neutral in dispute over management of trust but had consistently favored trustee’s own interests and those of some beneficiaries over those of other beneficiaries.
Terry v. Conlan - filed August 16, 2005, Sixth District
Cite as 2005 SOS 3965
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0805%2FH026751
Woman who agreed to raise children with her lesbian partner, supported her partner’s artificial insemination using an anonymous donor, and received the resulting twin children into her home and held them out as her own is the children’s parent under Uniform Parentage Act and has an obligation to support them.
Elisa B. v. Superior Court (Emily B.) - filed August 22, 2005
Cite as 2005 SOS 4042
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0805%2FS125912
Woman who provided ova to her lesbian partner so that the partner could bear children by means of in vitro fertilization is a parent of those children. Statute absolving sperm donor of parental responsibility for child conceived through medically supervised artificial insemination is inapplicable to this situation.
K. M. v. E. G. - filed August 22, 2005
Cite as 2005 SOS 4049
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0805%2FS125643
Where judgment stating that birth mother and her lesbian partner were the parents of a child was entered into pursuant to stipulation of the parties during pregnancy, birth mother is estopped to contest the validity of the judgment.
Kristine H. v. Lisa R. - filed August 22, 2005
Cite as 2005 SOS 4058
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0805%2FS126945
Elder abuse and medical malpractice claims against care facility must be arbitrated where alleged victim’s attorney in fact acting under a durable power of attorney, as part of the process of admitting alleged victim to facility, executed arbitration agreements; power authorized daughter to bind mother to arbitration agreements under Probate Code Secs. 4683, 4684 and 4688, since daughter’s decision to do so was made while making health care decisions on behalf of mother.
Garrison v. Superior Court (Country Villa Belmont Heights Healthcenter) - filed August 29, 2005, Second District, Div. Five
Cite as 2005 SOS 4238
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0805%2FB17995