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This decision holds that a suit filed by the decedent's heirs under CCP 377.32 was timely since it was filed within the limitations period even though the heirs didn't file the required declarations until after the limitations period expired and even though after probate proceedings were begun on the decedents' estates, the complaint was amended to name as an added… Read More

Although California and Indiana both generally enforce spendthrift trusts, the law of both states allow creditors to collect from the trust's assets when required by strong public policy--for example, to pay child support owed by the spendthrift beneficiary.  This decision holds that under the law of both states, the trust's assets are accessible to pay attorney fees that an opposing… Read More

Under Probate Code 6100.5(a)(2), a person lacks testamentary capacity if at the time of making a will or trust, he or she suffers from a mental health disorder with symptoms including delusions or hallucinations, and those delusions or hallucinations lead the person to make a disposition of property he or she otherwise would not have made.  Here, the court affirms… Read More

Probate Code 2640.1 allows a trial court to award attorney fees against the estate of the conservatee and in favor of the person who petitioned for appointment of a conservator if the court appoints a conservator different from the one the petitioner requested.  Here, however, the conservatorship petition was dismissed in a settlement before any conservator was appointed.  In that… Read More

Following n Hill v. Superior Court (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 1281 and Kerley v. Weber (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1187, and disagreeing with Levin v. Winston-Levin (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 1025, this decision holds that double damages may be awarded under Probate Code 859 without a finding of bad faith if the defendant has taken or concealed property of a dependent adult, a… Read More

A probate judge has authority to enter orders or take other action necessary or proper to dispose of matters before it.  (Prob. Code 12706.)  Those incidental powers include the power to order parties to the proceeding to a mandatory mediation session.  Here, the probate court did just that.  Persons who claimed an interest in the trust but who did not… Read More

"Jurisdiction" is a term with many meanings.  As used in Probate Code 17000, jurisdiction does not refer to fundamental jurisdiction of the subject matter, nor to in personal, in rem, or quasi-in-rem jurisdiction.  Instead, that section simply provides that probate matters are to be heard in the superior court's probate division rather than its normal civil courts.  The section does… Read More

Prob. Code 21620 and 21622 deal differently with pretermitted heirs born after and those born before the testator's death.  Section 21620 establishes a presumption that the heirs born after the testator's death were omitted unintentionally and thus are entitled to inherit, unless an opposing party proves otherwise.  Under 21622, however, the burden is on the heirs born before the testator's… Read More

Prob. Code 15401 sets out a statutory procedure for revocation of a revocable trust under which the trustor need only sign a revocation and deliver it to the trustee.  The trustor may avail himself of this statutory procedure unless the revocable trust expressly states that a different method of revocation set out in the trust instrument is the exclusive means… Read More

Probate Code 859 provides for an award of double damages if the court finds that the defendant son has in bad faith wrongfully taken . . . property belonging to a . . . dependent adult, . . .  or has taken . . . the property by the use of undue influence in bad faith or through the commission… Read More

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