Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Skip to Nav (Press Enter)


Subscribe to California Appellate Tracker

Thank you for your desire to subscribe to Severson & Werson’s Appellate Tracker Weblog. In order to subscribe, you must provide a valid name and e-mail address. This too will be retained on our server. When you push the “subscribe button”, we will send an electronic mail to the address that you provided asking you to confirm your subscription to our Weblog. By pushing the “subscribe button”, you represent and warrant that you are over the age of 18 years old, are the owner/authorized user of that e-mail address, and are entitled to receive e-mails at that address. Our weblog will retain your name and e-mail address on its server, or the server of its web host. However, we won’t share any of this information with anyone except the Firm’s employees and contractors, except under certain extraordinary circumstances described on our Privacy Policy and (About The Consumer Finance Blog/About the Appellate Tracker Weblog) Page. NOTICE AND AGREEMENT REGARDING E-MAILS AND CALLS/TEXT MESSAGES TO LAND-LINE AND WIRELESS TELEPHONES: By providing your contact information and confirming your subscription in response to the initial e-mail that we send you, you agree to receive e-mail messages from Severson & Werson from time-to-time and understand and agree that such messages are or may be sent by means of automated dialing technology. If you have your email forwarded to other electronic media, including text messages and cellular telephone by way of VoIP, internet, social media, or otherwise, you agree to receive my messages in that way. This may result in charges to you. Your agreement and consent also extend to any other agents, affiliates, or entities to whom our communications are forwarded. You agree that you will notify Severson & Werson in writing if you revoke this agreement and that your revocation will not be effective until you notify Severson & Werson in writing. You understand and agree that you will afford Severson & Werson a reasonable time to unsubscribe you from the website, that the ability to do so depends on Severson & Werson’s press of business and access to the weblog, and that you may still receive one or more emails or communications from weblog until we are able to unsubscribe you.

A special needs trust is one established for a severely disabled person.  The trust is designed to supplement public assistance the beneficiary receives without rendering the beneficiary ineligible for that public assistance.  This decision holds that the trustee has discretion under a special needs trust to pay for goods and services for the beneficiary that are not supplied by public… Read More

Following Balistreri v. Balistreri (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 511, this decision holds that if a trust provides a procedure or method for amending the trust, whether phrased as exclusive or optional, any amendment must conform to that procedure or method; otherwise it is invalid.  Prob. Code 15402’s “qualification ‘[u]nless the trust instrument provides otherwise’ indicates that if any modification method is… Read More

The probate exception to federal court jurisdiction applies only  to cases in which the federal courts would be called on to “(1) probate or annul a will, (2) administer a decedent’s estate, or (3) assume in rem jurisdiction over property that is in the custody of the probate court.”  Goncalves v. Rady Children’s Hosp. San Diego, 865 F.3d 1237, 1252… Read More

Estate of Cornelious (1984) 35 Cal.3d 461 remains good law.  Under Probate Code 7540(a), a child is conclusively presumed to be issue of the man married to the child's mother, so long as the two were cohabiting at the time of conception and of birth.  Such a child is not allowed, at least for inheritance purposes, to prove that he… Read More

Probate Code 8402(a)(4) provides that to be eligible to serve as an executor or administrator of an estate, a person must be a resident of the US.  This decision interprets the statute as meaning that an executor or administrator must be "domiciled" in the US--that is, reside in the US with the intention of remaining there.  Here, the proposed administrator--the… Read More

This decision holds that (1) a probate court does not have inherent equitable power to award attorney fees except from a beneficiary's share of a trust or estate involved in the litigation, but (2) Probate Code 15642(d), the court may award attorney fees against a party payable from his personal assets for filing a bad faith petition to remove a… Read More

Under Probate Code 145, a spouse waives his or her interest in the other spouse's estate by entering into "a complete property settlement agreement after or in contemplation of a separation, dissolution or annulment of their marriage."  This decision holds that to operate as such a waiver, the settlement agreement need not recite that it waives that right nor that… Read More

World Services holds intellectual property rights in Narcotics Anonymous' publications as trustee under a trust created by a loose association of Narcotics Anonymous adherents, known as the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.  The Autonomous Region sued World Services claiming it breached its fiduciary duties under the trust.  This opinion affirms dismissal of the action on the ground that Autonomous Region lacks… Read More

Appeals from probate orders did not automatically stay the parties' ability to settle their dispute.  Even though their settlement required dismissal of the pending appeals, the settlement was effective and did not violate the automatic stay on appeal under CCP 916. Read More

Under Prob. Code 1003, a court may, but is not required to, appoint a guardian ad litem for minors named as parties in the action. If the court doesn't appoint a guardian, it must itself protect the minor's interests.  Here, a guardian ad litem was appointed for the minors in related litigation, but not in this proceeding.  The guardian ad… Read More

If a trust provides a procedure or method for amending the trust, whether phrased as exclusive or optional, any amendment must conform to that procedure or method; otherwise it is invalid.  Prob. Code 15402’s “qualification ‘[u]nless the trust instrument provides otherwise’ indicates that if any modification method is specified in the trust, that method must be used to amend the… Read More

The California Department of Health Care Services administers the MediCal program. For purpose of computing a person's financial ability to pay for medical care during his lifetime, the department omits the worth of his residence.  However, after the person's death, the department is entitled to collect reimbursement for medical care it paid for during the person's lifetime from the person's… Read More

Plaintiff was the executrix as well as a beneficiary of her parents' estate. She claimed that a relative and co-beneficiary conspired with two other defendants to fraudulently induce her, as executrix, to take a large loan at usurious rates secured by the parents' house, the estate's principal asset, after which the co-beneficiary misappropriated most of the loan funds.  This decision… Read More

A fiduciary owes a duty to disclose material facts to the beneficiary.  The beneficiary is under no duty to investigate whether the fiduciary has told the truth or disclosed all the material facts.  Hence, when a conservatee moves to set aside an order approving the conservator's accounting on the ground of misrepresentations in the conservator's accounting and petition for approval,… Read More

1 2 3 4