Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

 Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section   *  Volume 1, Number 2   *   June, 2005  *  Contact Us  *  Join the T & E Section  *  Archived Issues


Trusts & Estates Bulletin is published monthly by the Trusts & Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA).

David C. Nelson,
Loeb & Loeb LLP, Editor

(Cases appear in chronological order, with the oldest cases appearing first.) 

Assessor correctly included both land and improvement in calculation of $1 million grandparent-grandchild exclusion from assessment under Revenue and Taxation Code Sec. 63.1. Improvements are deemed to belong to owner rather than lessee when lease term is less than 35 years, even if lessee constructed the improvements.
Auerbach v. Assessment Appeals Board No. 1 (Northern Trust Bank of California) - filed May 11, 2005, Second District, Div. One
Cite as 2005 SOS 2416
Full text

-Trust and Estates-
Where decedentís will left his estate to a trust, of which he and his wife were co-trustees, and provided that if bequest to trust failed, property was to go to the coupleís daughters, effect of partiesí subsequent marital settlement agreement and divorce was to revoke the trust and cause the bequest to lapse. Where declaration of trust permitted either trustor to "revoke all or any part of the trustorsí community property held in the trust by a written instrument signed by either trustor and delivered to the trustee and the other trustor," order approving marital settlement agreement and accompanying quitclaim deeds satisfied the revocation provision and entitled either trustor to revoke trust to extent of his or her contributions to the trust, including revoking trustorís separate property as well as his or her share of community property.
Estate of Coleman - filed May 12, 2005, Third District
Cite as 2005 SOS 2259
Full text

-Family Law-
Where husband and wife established revocable trust into which husband transferred all of his separate property, and trust agreement provided that the property transferred to the trust is community property unless husband or wife as transferor identifies it as separate property, husband did not transmute separate property to community property because trust agreement provision was not an "express declaration" of intent to create a transmutation within the meaning of Family Code Sec. 852.
In re Marriage of Starkman - filed May 18, 2005, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2005 SOS 2352
Full text

-Trusts and Estates-
Probate courtís orders concerning family trust, revoked by wife who subsequently established a living trust of her own, did not constitute a reservation of jurisdiction over wifeís assets so as to preclude subsequent litigation in another county over those assets. Such action was properly brought in county of trusteeís residence. Revocation of testamentary document on ground of undue influence does not require proof of procurement. Revocation of testamentary document on ground of fraud does not require direct proof of intent to deceive. Fraud may be proven by circumstantial evidence, as in a contract case. Evidence that trustorís daughter made a series of false representations that were the sole apparent cause of trustorís alienation from her other daughter and her decision to disinherit her other daughter and her other daughterís children was sufficient to support revocation of testamentary document on grounds of fraud and undue influence.
David v. Hermann - filed May 18, 2005, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2005 SOS 2380
Full text



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