Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section   *  Volume III, Number 9 * March 2008
An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association  *  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.) 

-Trusts and Estates-
Where decedent and surviving spouse had long been separated, and action to dissolve their marriage had been filed but was not pursued and was dismissed during decedent’s lifetime, surviving spouse was not "a party to an action for separate maintenance, annulment, or dissolution of the marriage" and did not lose statutory priority with regard to naming executor of decedent’s intestate estate.
     Estate of Garrett - filed January 31, 2008, Fourth District, Div. Two
     Cite as 2008 SOS 844
     Full text 

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-Trusts and Estates-
Where administrator brought action alleging that objectors had induced decedent to transfer real property to land trusts through undue influence and fraud, and elaborate nature of multilevel trusts made it difficult, if not impossible, to trace changes in beneficial interests, trial court did not err in concluding that estate was entitled to delayed discovery and was not barred by five-year statute of limitations applicable to land transfers--despite notice to decedent of potential problems with trust arrangements--based on misrepresentations and concealments on part of objectors, and roles they played and undertook in decedent’s life and financial affairs. Trial court did not err in finding undue influence and fraud where objectors could not establish need for decedent to make transfers; decedent signed documents under misapprehension that they were consistent with pre-existing estate plan based on objectors’ false representations; estate showed ample proof of damages; and objectors failed to rebut circumstantial evidence that transfers were disadvantageous to decedent and that she would not have made transfers had she so known. Where estate did not expressly seek bifurcation of liability and damages but did so impliedly and never waived its claim to double damages regarding real property taken under Probate Code Sec. 859, trial court’s denial of opportunity to present evidence of value of real property was error because statutory language supported estate's position that trial procedure it used--to prove liability before providing underlying evidence of double damages in form of real property valuations--was not inappropriate.
     Estate of Young - filed February 15, 2008, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2008 SOS 1112
     Full text 

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