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Impending fight over Prince’s estate highlights Estate Planning - When musician Prince passed away earlier this month, he left an estate worth a reported $300 million dollars with a vault of enough musical creations to keep Prince’s estate potentially growing for decades.  One would think that with an estate as large as his, Prince would have taken the time to create a comprehensive estate...

2016 Best of the Bar – San Diego Business Journal - “The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency, and qualifies all his qualifications, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Essayist, Lecturer and Poet)     Ralph Waldo Emerson’s...

The Advantages of Mediation in a Probate Dispute - The Advantages of Mediation in a Probate Dispute When a person passes away with or without a will in the state of California, there is a good chance that his or her estate will have to go through a process called “probate.” This process involves establishing the validity of a will, settling the estate’s debts,...

Riverside County Trust Contest and Financial Elder Abuse Case Reaches Positive Settlement with Morris Law Firm, APC - In the fall of 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Ultes (“Petitioners”), an elderly couple residing in Riverside County, filed a petition in the Riverside Superior Court to challenge the validity of a trust amendment they assert their long-time friend executed prior to his death. Based on the petition in court records: (1) Decedent’s wife had recently...

Protections for Trustees when the Validity of a Trust is Attacked - Too often, beneficiaries are dissatisfied with the provisions in the trust document.  Disputes often arise from how and when assets are distributed and beneficiaries may decide to launch a legal attack on the validity of the trust itself. Certain individuals may believe they were wrongfully denied status as beneficiaries and may file a legal challenge...

The Benefits of Using a Professional Fiduciary or Trustee for your Trust - The Benefits of Using a Professional Fiduciary or Trustee for your Trust One of the most important decisions a person who is creating a trust can make is choosing the person or party to act as successor trustee. The trustee of a trust often has significant discretion in managing the trust assets and has a...

Protecting a Trustee against Beneficiary Challenges - When people think of trust litigation, they might think about beneficiaries bringing an action to obtain access to or possession of the trust property. However, the trustee may also need legal protection if one or more beneficiaries decide to question how the trustee is managing and administering the trust property. Beneficiaries can sometimes be more...

No-Contest Clause - Can You Contest a Trust with a No-Contest Clause? If you are a beneficiary to a trust and you wish to bring a legal challenge regarding the trust, you may be inclined to swiftly back off if you learn the trust has a “no-contest” clause.   Such a clause provides for the disinheritance of any...

4 Reasons a Beneficiary Should Take Action to Remove a Bad Trustee - Is your trustee protecting the beneficiaries’ assets? Unfortunately, there are trustees who intentionally or inadvertently do the wrong thing and your assets may consequently be diminishing, or worse, be misappropriated. Estate planning usually resolves to creating a trust to protect assets for the sake of beneficiaries. This structure normally avoids the lengthy processes of probate. Assets...

Does Your Trust / Will Litigation Attorney Understand the Entire Picture? - Does Your Trust/Will Litigation Attorney Understand the Entire Picture? You will be surprised to find out that many of the Probate, Trust and Estate Litigation Attorneys have zero experience in estate planning.  Many of them have experience with civil litigation, which is also essential to a skilled Probate, Trust and Estate litigator, but little to...

4 Reasons to contest a trust - 4 Reasons to contest a trust Trusts are more than a structured financial advantage for the wealthy. Trusts are also used by people with modest means to protect assets from creditors, and save families and beneficiaries the expense and time associated with probate. The lengthy process of probate is required for wills, but is not...

4 Reasons to contest the validity of a will - 4 Reasons to contest the validity of a will As most readers will likely be aware, a will is a legal document that establishes the way in which the estate of a person who has passed away will be handled.   Wills usually define: who will administer the estate, known as the executor of the...

LA Clippers Probate Appeal Denied - Donald Sterling loses landmark trust appeal. Los Angeles – November 16, 2015. The court of appeal has confirmed due process in the ruling by the probate court for the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, formerly owned by the Sterling Family Trust. The appeal was against Rochelle Sterling who as sole trustee of the Sterling...

Mediation led to settlement - Significant Settlement In Trust Litigation Case Mediation led to settlement. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 19, 2015 Monte Martens lost more than a loving mother in 2006. Martens argued that his stepfather made a promise to his mother that Martens would receive the full value of her property valued at over $1,000,000 USD after his stepfather died....

Which do you need? A lawyer or an attorney? - Lawyers and attorneys are almost the same but with an official difference. A lawyer can be anyone who has studied law and may work in the industry as a clerk or research assistant. In the United States, a lawyer who is registered by the Bar Association to practice law is said to be an ‘attorney...

You won’t believe what happens to your will, even if it’s not contested! - You would think creating a will and leaving it with an attorney might be simplest and best offering to your heirs, but you won’t believe what happens to a will after you die. The State Bar of California website provides a simple format to complete a will with the description as follows : “A will...