In re Estate of Bryant, a couple set up three trusts for their three children, Bill, Leslie, and Jane. No. 07-18-00429-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2131 (Tex. App.—Amarillo March 11, 2020, no pet. history). After the couple had both passed away, their son Bill assumed the role of trustee of three trusts: Irrevocable Trust,

In In the Estate of Nicholas, the temporary administrator of an estate and the decedent’s mother filed a Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202 petition concerning a shootout at a residence by the City of Houston Police Department. No. 14-19-00716-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2532 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] March 26, 2020, no pet.

In Ron v. Ron, a wife created a trust with her husband as a trustee, a friend as a trust protector, and their children as the beneficiaries. No. 3:19-CV-00211, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52507 (S.D. Tex. February 4, 2020). The wife alleged that the husband made inappropriate transfers of community property to the trust

In Fox v. Fox, a father deeded real property in Louisiana to one of his sons. No. 14-18-00672-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2211 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] March 17, 2020, no pet. history). The father later died, and his sons had a dispute regarding whether the deed was effective. A different son was his executor in Texas, and the son that was the recipient of the gift filed a declaratory judgment petition in his estate to establish that the deed was effective. The executor filed a plea to the jurisdiction, arguing that the Texas court did not have jurisdiction over the deed concerning real property in Louisiana. The trial court granted the plea, and an appeal was filed.
Continue Reading Texas Probate Court Did Not Have Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over A Title Dispute To Real Property In Louisiana

In Bethany v. Bethany, a party filed a motion to remove his brother as executor of their mother’s estate. No. 03-19-00532-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2350 (Tex. App.—Austin March 20, 2020, no pet.). The movant also sought costs and expenses incurred by him incident to removal, including reasonable attorney’s fees. In his response to

Texas has recently had two opinions that seemingly take opposite views on whether a contingent remainder beneficiary has standing to sue a trustee for trust administration issue.

In In re Estate of Little, a settlor of a revocable trust withdrew trust assets and deposited them into an account with rights of survivorship with one child as the beneficiary. No. 05-18-00704-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 7355 (Tex. App.—Dallas August 20, 2019, pet. denied). His other children, who were beneficiaries of the revocable trust, sued the non-settlor co-trustee for allowing that to happen. The trial court granted summary judgment for the co-trustee, and the beneficiaries appealed.

The court of appeals first held that the beneficiaries had standing to bring their claims. The co-trustee argued that as contingent beneficiaries of a revocable trust, the beneficiaries had no standing to complain about what the settlor chose to do with his money during his lifetime. The court of appeals disagreed with this argument:
Continue Reading Texas Courts Conflict On Whether Contingent Remainder Beneficiaries Have Standing To Assert Claims Regarding Trust Administration

In In the Estate of Mendoza, a decedent’s son’s children filed a petition claiming their entitlement to their father’s beneficial interest in a trust created under the decedent’s will. No. 04-19-00129-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1845 (Tex. App.—San Antonio March 4, 2020, no pet. history). The son had predeceased the decedent. The decedent’s daughters moved for summary judgment on the sole ground that a dead person could not be a beneficiary of a trust. The trial court granted the daughters’ summary judgment motion. The son’s children appealed.

The court of appeals reversed the summary judgment, holding that the mere fact that the decedent’s son predeceased the decedent did not establish the son’s beneficial interest in the trust created under the decedent’s will lapsed as a matter of law. The daughters argued that a dead person cannot be a beneficiary of a trust and cited to Longoria v. Lasater, 292 S.W.3d 156, 167 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2009, pet. denied) and Section 112, comment f of the Restatement (Second) of Trusts. However, the court of appeals held that the daughters ignored the difference between an inter vivos trust, which was the type of trust analyzed in Longoria, and a testamentary trust. The court cited to Section 112, comment f, of the Restatement (Second) of Trusts:
Continue Reading Court Holds That A Deceased Testamentary Trust Beneficiary Can Still Be A Beneficiary

Selected by Texas Bar Today as a “Top 10 Blog Post”

In UPS Ground Freight, Inc. v. Trotter, parties filed claims against an estate representative based on a car accident in the county where the estate was being administered. No. 12-19-00135-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1127 (Tex. App.—Tyler February 10,

In In re Estate of Debra E. Hunt v. Arabia Vargas, a trial court granted summary judgment interpreting a will to devise a large share of the testatrix’s personal property to her life partner. No. 01-19-00216-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1036 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] February 6, 2020, no pet. history). The will stated:

In In re Jones, parties filed a mandamus proceeding to challenge the trial court’s disqualification of their attorney. No. 12-19-00354-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 11267 (Tex. App.—Tyler December 31, 2019, original opinion). An attorney sent an email to the beneficiary of the estate, stating that the attorney for estate was a bad lawyer and