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TSY&S PREVAILS IN TRUST LITIGATION OVER AN ESTATE PLAN THAT DISINHERITED FOUR OF FIVE ADULT CHILDREN

December 17, 2012

A widow with five adult children and numerous grandchildren amended the family trust to leave the entire estate to the just one of her children, TSY&S’ Client, who lived with her, took care of her during her terminal illness and single handedly supported her mother by operating the family business. In addition, she named the Client as the trustee of the family trust.

After mom’s death, the four disinherited adult children took exception to being cut out of “their inheritance” and sought to reverse their mother’s decision claiming that she lacked capacity to make such a decision and that she was unduly influenced by the Client who eventually inherited the entire estate. In their petition, the five disgruntled children asked the court to invalidate the amendment, to remove the Client as trustee and for an accounting.

After conducting only the necessary discovery, TSY&S made a Motion for Summary Adjudication of the claims. As a result, the court entered summary adjudication in favor of the Client as to the claim of lack of capacity, the demand that the Client be removed as trustee and for an accounting. With the Petitioners’ case eviscerated and with a trial looming, TSY&S was able to settle the case on terms very favorable to the Client resulting in the amendment to the trust remaining in force.

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