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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

A testator’s gift of "all my estate" to two individuals made them both residuary recipients; when one predeceased the testator and was an aunt by marriage (hence not “kindred”), her share of the residue was distributed to the other residuary beneficiary, not the predeceased aunt's heirs. Read More

As the Probate Code allows a plaintiff to sue the estate of a decedent to prove that the decedent was liable for an obligation covered by his insurance, the insurance company is considered a “party” to the litigation for purposes of 998 settlement offers and therefore can be liable for cost recovery if the insurer does not accept the plaintiff's… Read More

Extrinsic evidence of trustor’s intent is admissible to shed light on the applicability of the “impossibility limitation” on conditions precedent to dispositions by will or trust. Read More

The probate court did not abuse its discretion in excusing a trustee from liability for breaching a trust, because he acted reasonably and equitably in allowing the trustor’s elderly friend to retain his life estate in the trust property even though he had fallen behind on certain expenses that were supposed to be a condition of the life estate. Read More

In a criminal prosecution for theft from an elder, defendant stipulated to a restitution amount of $700,000, so she was estopped from denying that damage amount in a later action for double damages under the Probate Code. Read More

In a criminal prosecution for theft from an elder, defendant stipulated to a restitution amount of $700,000, so she was estopped from denying that damage amount in a later action for double damages under the Probate Code. Read More

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