A son of a well known philanthropic billionaire family had a trust drafted regarding the distribution of his estate. A dispute regarding the interpretation of a trust arose between the step-children and the natural children of the family. The court was required to resolve the alleged ambiguity in the trust.
Brother vs. sister litigation involving multimillion dollar estate with over a dozen law firms involved. Issues were bifurcated leading to multiple trials. No Contest trial, removal and surcharge trial, discovery motions involving attorney client privilege of ousted trustee, Charitable Remainder Trust (CRAT), approval of settlement of some of the bifurcated matters, a plethora of motions in Limine, etc. Pending multiple legal malpractice trials trailed.
A wealthy businessman entered into a trust with a nationally known radio talk show hostess. Upon her death, a dispute arose between the businessman and his adult step-children. A written settlement agreement was entered into but allegedly deficient as to its execution. A trial was held to determine whether the settlement agreement was enforceable. Issues were whether the applicability of CCP 664.6 or alternate method of enforcing the settlement agreement was operable. Also, whether there was a valid contractual settlement and the mental competency of the businessman in entering into the settlement.
Decedent had ten children - five children from his first marriage and five children from his second marriage. A dispute arose between the ten children as to which set of children would get the original business property acquired by the decedent. There were a total of six properties. The litigation was over the first property. Multiple petitions were filed by both groups of children which included petitions to remove the co-trustees, petition to determine title to real property and adverse possession, promissory estoppel, petition to construe the trust, cross petitions for probate, and a Will contest.
A son filed a civil action for damages based upon fraud, conversion, and negligence against the trustees of the trust. The co-trustees of the trust were his mother and his brother. The trust was set up by plaintiff’s grandmother. The grandmother left most of her estate to her daughter and to one of two grandsons. The ousted grandson alleged that the trustees failed to pay him the specific gift of $75,000 pursuant to the terms of his grandmother’s trust. The trustees took the position that paying the plaintiff son would disqualify him from lifetime disability benefits. The trustees offered to pay the $75,000 but the son sought punitive damages, interest and attorneys fees under Probate Code Section 859 and other civil causes of action.
Husband and wife created a A/B Trust. Both spouses passed away. Based upon a bifurcated decision, it was ordered that the B Trust had become irrevocable upon wife’s death. The survivor’s husband’s trust was tried in the second phase. Grandson contested his grandfather’s amendment to the trust which gave his share to his remaining children. Grandson alleged that grandfather’s original survivor’s trust included him as a beneficiary and that he was treated as one of his children. Grandson filed a petition to invalidate the amendment (PC 15610.70), financial elder abuse (W+I 15640.30, Civil Code 3294), remove the trustee to the survivor’s trust, deem his children to have predeceased the grandfather pursuant to PC 259, and compel return of the property per PC 850.
Husband and wife entered into a settlement agreement over the terms of a trust. The trust contained multiple businesses and real property interests. Subsequently, wife filed a petition to remove the trustee on grounds of breach of fiduciary duty and mismanagement of the trust property.
Grandson filed petition to invalidate an amendment to his grandmother’s trust on grounds of competency and undue influence. Daughter opposed. Issue of late discovery and untimely amended designation of further trial experts were in issue in the trial.
Brother vs Brother. Petitioner filed a petition against his brother asserting that he unduly influenced his parents in amending the trust to give the residence exclusively to only one of three brothers. The sole beneficiary brother had lived with his parents and took care of them for years. The third brother supported the parents’ amendments even though he was also excluded. Issues of validity of original and amended trust, irrevocability, validity of grant deed, and the defense the statute of limitations were involved.
Brother vs Brother and Sister. Brother petitioned to remove his brother and sister as trustees for breach of fiduciary duty and waste and to appoint a neutral Professional Private Fiduciary.
Petition for accounting and removal and surcharge against trustee by three siblings against two co-trustee siblings.
Trustee brings unlawful detainer, petition to recover possession of real property, writ of possession against family member who asserts that she is not a tenant and entitled to ownership of the property.