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Probate

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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

Although California recognizes the legitimacy of Japanese yoshi-engumi (a traditional adoption process), California law governs intestate succession for a person who died in California; so the adoption is treated as severing the adoptee's ties to his natural family and his natural parents' descendants are not entitled to inherit through him. Read More

Decedent’s will stating "I exercise any Power of Appointment which I may have over that portion of the trust or trusts established by my parents for my benefit ...."  was a sufficient indicator that the decedent knowingly and intentionally exercised the power given him by his parents’ trust; the will do not have to identify the exact title of the… Read More

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