Pizarro v. Reynoso

Probate court did not err in charging the interests of two trust beneficiaries for the fees incurred by the trustee in defending against their unwarranted charges which were brought in bad faith and supported by false testimony, but the court did err by imposing personal liability on the beneficiaries for sums exceeding the amount of…

Estate of Dayan

Trial court properly concluded that decedent’s action in quit-claiming a one-third interest in a parcel of real property to defendant prior to her death could be construed consistently with her will, which disposed of all property owned by her probate estate at the time of her death.  Before her death, decedent quit-claimed a one-third interest…

Pratt v. Ferguson

A court may order the trustee of a trust to satisfy the beneficiary’s child support obligations from trust funds despite any trust provisions to the contrary.  Under Probate Code 15305(b)-(d), a court may order the trustee of a trust to satisfy the trust beneficiary’s child support obligations despite any contrary provision of the trust, including…

Funsten v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

The 2008 repeal of Probate Code section 21230 bars later-filed suits for a declaration that a proposed suit would not be a “contest” within a no-contest clause’s scope, even if the underlying will or trust was executed before 2008.  The repeal of Prob. Code 21230 effective in 2008 was procedural in nature and applied immediately,…

Greco v. Greco

A complaint charging brother/trustee with wrongfully taking money from elderly mother and from family trust to fund litigation against plaintiff sister was not a SLAPP suit subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike, except for the cause of action alleging wrongful conduct in filing and prosecuting the earlier suits.  Following Old Republic Construction Program Group…

East Bay Regional Park Dist. v. Griffin

In extraordinary circumstances necessary to prevent injury or loss, Probate Code 1310(b) permits interim orders in trust or probate matters that are not stayed pending appeal, and the appellate court can issue no relief with regard to appeals that challenge this type of order.  Under Prob. Code 1310(b), a probate court handling a trust or…

Gregge v. Hugill

Trial court erred in dismissing beneficiary’s challenge to trust amendment, allegedly signed under undue influence, based on another beneficiary’s disclaimer which left plaintiff’s share of the trust unaffected by the challenged amendment.  As a grandchild entitled to a share of the grandchildren’s sub-trust, plaintiff had standing to petition under Probate Code 17200(a) to set aside a…

Torjesen v. Mansdorf

Though the trial court erroneously proceeded under the Enforcement of Judgments Law rather than the Probate Code in adjudicating rights under a judgment creditor’s levy after the judgment debtor’s death, the ensuing judgment could not be collaterally attacked based on that legal error since the trial court had fundamental jurisdiction to enter the judgment.  T…

Butler v. LeBouef

A will and trust were properly invalidated under Probate Code 21380’s conclusive presumption of undue influence where they named as principal beneficiary the attorney who drafted them for an elderly mentally impaired client.  This decision affirms the probate court’s invalidation of a will and trust which it found that the defendant lawyer had prepared for…

Babbitt v. Superior Court

Trust beneficiary did not have any right to obtain information about the disposition of assets while the trust was revocable.  While the Babbitts’ family trust remained revocable—during the lifetime of both Babbitts—the beneficiaries of the trust had no right to any accounting of the trust’s assets or affairs.  Hence, the probate court erred in ordering…

Carne v. Worthington

Trustor conveyed real property to a revocable trust in 1985, and then created a new revocable trust in 2009; his 2009 trust instrument, which purported to transfer all of the 1985 trust’s property into the new trust, sufficed to perfect the conveyance without the need of a separate deed.  Liebler created a revocable trust of…

Ammerman v. Callender

When a testator’s trust provided the residue was to be split evenly among three children, but one of them was not to bear liability for taxes, the trial court erred in readjusting the children’s percentage shares of the residue to equalize the taxation burden.  Decedent’s trust provided that on his death the trust’s assets were…