A testamentary trust is a common estate planning device. To fund the trust, the person establishing the trust must transfer his or her assets to the trustee of the trust. In a recent case, Kucker v. Kucker, the California Court of Appeal discussed the level of specificity required to make such a transfer effect with… read more
Many contracts contain a provision requiring arbitration of disputes arising from the contract. Arbitration is resolution of a dispute by one or more private decision makers (arbitrators). Decision makers are frequently, but not always, former judges. With some limited exceptions, the arbitrator’s compensation is divided equally between the parties. When a party to an arbitration… read more
A common problem faced by a successor trustee administering a testamentary trust is determining how to satisfy trust provisions requiring the payment of specific amounts to trust beneficiaries. It is not unusual for a trust to be short on cash, but to own significant amounts of property. In Estate of Cairns, the California Court of… read more
In Luna v. Brownwell, the California Court of Appeal ruled that a deed executed in anticipation of the creation of a trust is effective to transfer property to the trust as soon as the trust is created. In Luna, a property owner initially attempted to plan his estate by adding his sisters to title. Later,… read more
California law permits parties to waive their right to jury trial and to resolve their disputes by binding arbitration. However, such a waiver must be contained in an agreement providing actual notice to all parties. In Villa Vecenza Homeowners Association v. Nobel Court Development, LLC, the California Court of Appeal held that covenants, conditions, and… read more
A mandatory binding arbitration clause is a common component of California employment agreements. While California courts will enforce such clauses, they have been unwilling to grant complete deference to the arbitrator. A recent California Supreme Court decision, Dental Supplies, Inc. v. Superior Court, further develops the law on this topic. Pearson Dental arose from an… read more
Trust beneficiaries who act in bad faith to delay the legitimate administration of the trust may find themselves funding the trust’s attorney’s fees and court costs. In Rudnick v. Rudnick, the California Court of Appeal held that the probate court has the equitable power to require trust beneficiaries who use the courts to delay administration… read more
Mediation can save you time and money and can bring about a quick solution to a legal problem.