Cases appear in chronological order, with the oldest case appearing first.
Trusts and Estates Trusts and Estates Trusts and Estates
Where petition to probate will had the practical effect of challenging an earlier trust, filing of such petition was an "action to contest the trust" within the meaning of Probate Code Sec. 16061, which requires that such an action be brought within 120 days following service of notice by the trustee. Will was dictated and signed by decedent and handwritten by another person--but was defective in form because it contained no witnesses' signatures. Trial court did not err in admitting it to probate under Sec. 6110(c)(2) based on clear and convincing evidence of decedent's intent in the form of testimony by two witnesses who saw him sign it. Public policy in favor of validating wills that reflect decedents' intent supports retroactive application of Sec. 6110(c)(2) to wills executed before its effective date. Lack of testamentary language, use of the word will, or reference to death did not preclude finding that document was intended by decedent to be his will.
Estate of Stoker - filed March 3, 2011, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 1274
In action brought on behalf of conservatee against attorney and family members who had allegedly converted conservatee's property to their own benefit, trial court properly instructed jury that conservatee's SSI payments--evidence of which was admitted in support of defendants' claim that they did not distribute proceeds of sale of property because they feared conservatee would lose those benefits--were collateral source benefits that could not be used to offset any damages jury might award.
Conservatorship of the Estate of McQueen - filed March 14, 2011, First
District, Div. Four
Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 1361
Son claiming a right to inherit his father's estate as an omitted heir had standing to challenge probate court's interim award of attorneys' fees and costs to executor because such an award would place son at a financial disadvantage by diminishing the estate should son prevail in the will contest. Personal representatives or executors who are also beneficiaries are not incapable of participating "as a party to assist the court" under Probate Code Sec. 11704(b).
Estate of Bartsch - filed March 22, 2011, First District, Div. One
Cite as A126925
Trusts and Estates Trusts and Estates
Trusts and Estates