What is Undue Influence?

When a will, trust or a contract is made – and made against your rights or interests – there can be the question of whether that document was signed because of the influence of others. All people are subject to the influence of others, friends, family, professional advisors. “Influencers” are now in a multi-billion dollar […]

Bankruptcy Planning & Asset Protection

net profits lawyer

Unprecedented Times These are difficult times to do business. Business owners, all over the world, are assessing how to meet their obligations during times when others may not be able to meet theirs. Difficult choices need to be made and the cascading effect of debts that are remain unpaid are leaving many in the position […]

Anna Nicole Smith – The 24 Year Case

estate litigation

Even though Anna Nicole Smith (a/k/a Vickie Lynn Marshall), passed away more than ten years ago, her long and hard-fought battle for the inheritance promised to her by her late husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, continues on for the benefit of her estate, and her twelve-year-old daughter Dannielynn. How It All Started The […]

Handling Litigation Publicly

The Court of Public Opinion In today’s age, where information is more accessible than ever and media-whether social or traditional-has a tremendous impact on people’s daily lives, litigation publicity and the “court of public opinion” are important considerations that must be addressed from the very beginning of a case. Whether the question is how to […]

What is the latest on your rights when someone interferes with an expected inheritance?

Recognizing Tortious Interference With Expected Inheritance When someone’s estate plan has been changed by wrongdoing, the affected party traditionally challenges the amended will or trust in the Probate Court. However, if there is no probate remedy that is available or adequate to address the harm, the alternative to probate litigation is a civil court complaint […]

The Case for a Will, Starring the Estate of Jimi Hendrix

One of the Most Litigated Estates in History Jimi Hendrix is considered by many the best guitarist that has ever lived, and although the legendary icon has been dead for over 40 years, his music, and unfortunately lawsuits, has kept his spirit alive. The Hendrix estate is one of the most-litigated in the history of […]

Intentional Interference with Expectancy of Inheritance – Beckwith v. Dahl

‘Beckwith’s’ Landmark Decision In 2012 California became the 26th state to recognize the tort of Intentional Interference with Expected Inheritance (IIEI) in the case of Beckwith v. Dahl, 205 Cal.App.4th 1039 (2012).  The tort provided a remedy in civil courts for anyone who lost all or part of an inheritance because of the tortious acts […]

To Be or Not to Be, in Probate Court

probate litigation

Causes of Action Provided for in the Probate Code Require Filing Petitions and Responses If a cause of action is not expressly authorized by the Probate Code, matters of pleading and procedure are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure. This is also true of Probate Code matters except to the extent the Probate Code […]

Michael Jackson’s Estate, Lloyd’s of London Settle Insurance Dispute Out of Court

Settlement Reached Over Michael Jackson’s $17.5 Million Insurance Policy After three years of litigation between Lloyd’s of London, the insurers of Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, and Jackson’s estate, attorneys for the estate advised the court on January 15th  that they have settled with the insurer over a $17.5 million insurance policy. The case was […]

The Developing Law on No Contest Clauses in Estate Litigation

Changes in California’s Estate Laws Effective January 1, 2010 and applicable to all cases where the will or trust was executed after January 1, 2001, the California statutes governing No Contest Clauses have been repealed and re-written. For anyone considering challenging a will or trust that contains a No Contest Clause, it is of the […]

Will Seeking to Remove a Fiduciary Violate a No Contest Clause?

fiduciary duties

Be Careful When Modifying Trust Terms When a beneficiary of a trust is concerned that the trustee, or “fiduciary,” is breaching his or her fiduciary duty by failing to act in the beneficiary’s best interests or is otherwise abusing his position, the beneficiary can seek to have the fiduciary removed. However, the beneficiary may be […]

Wrongful Death Versus Survival Action: Why You Should Know the Difference

When a loved one dies because of the negligence of another, California law provides for two different types of lawsuits that can be brought against the wrongdoer. One type of lawsuit is known as a “wrongful death” lawsuit and is brought under California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60. The other is known as a “survival […]