In Ruff v. Ruff, a beneficiary of a trust sued a former trustee, and that dispute was sent to arbitration. No. 05-18-00326-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 6344 (Tex. App.—Dallas August 11, 2020, no pet. history). After the arbitration ruled for the beneficiary, awarding her over $49 million, the former trustee appealed arguing that the dispute should not have been sent to arbitration.
Continue Reading Court Affirmed Arbitration Decision Because Multiple Documents Regarding The Resignation And Appointment Of A Trustee Constituted One Large Transaction

In In re McCown, a county court had a contested probate matter, and a party filed a motion to assign a statutory probate judge and another party filed a motion to transfer the case to a district court. No. 10-20-00128-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 6276 (Tex. App.—Waco August 10, 2020, original proceeding). After the county court entered an order transferring the case to the district court, the party seeking a statutory probate judge filed a petition for writ of mandamus.
Continue Reading Court Granted Mandamus Relief To Reverse A Probate Court’s Order Transferring A Case To A District Court

In In the Interest of M.G.G., an ex-husband was made a constructive trustee of stocks that he held in his retirement account for his ex-wife. No. 05-19-00777-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 6291 (Tex. App.—Dallas August 10, 2020, no pet. history). The divorce order stated that upon sale of the stock, the ex-husband should send the gross receipts from the sale to the ex-wife.
Continue Reading Court Reversed Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Judgment Due To A Lack Of Damages

In Hampton v. Equity Trust Co., an individual sold fraudulent investments to the plaintiff. No. 03-19-00401-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 5674

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(Tex. App.—Austin July 23, 2020, no pet.). The individual ran a Ponzi scheme and had recommended that the plaintiff open a retirement account with Equity Trust Company. Equity Trust Company was the custodian of the plaintiff’s self-directed IRA, from which the plaintiff made the investments. After the scheme came a halt, the plaintiff sued the individual for various claims and Equity Trust Company of aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty. After a jury trial, the trial court entered judgment for the plaintiff against Equity Trust Company for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.
Continue Reading A Rose By Any Other Name Would Not Smell As Sweet: Court Holds That Texas Does Not Have An Aiding And Abetting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim

In Ramirez v. Rodriguez, three co-trustees sued a fourth trustee to have him removed due to his hostile actions: he “has engaged in a pattern of creating hostility and friction that impedes and/or affects the operations of the trust.” No. 04-19-00618-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1340 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Feb. 19, 2020, no pet.). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the suit, and the court of appeals affirmed the denial of the dismissal.
Continue Reading Co-Trustees Can Sue To Remove A Co-Trustee Due To Hostility

In Neal v. Neal, the court of appeals affirmed a trial court’s judgment resolving who were the correct beneficiaries of a trust. No. 05-19-00364-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4514 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 17, 2020, no pet. history). The trial court’s judgment declaring the decedent’s sister’s children the remainder beneficiaries of his trust was in

In JTREO, Inc. v. Hightower & Assocs., the buyer of a note and mortgage sued the attorney for the lender who facilitated the transaction by loaning money to the buyer for breach of fiduciary duty arising from the fact that there was no mortgage title policy endorsement as represented in the transaction. No. 03-19-00255-CV 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4523 (Tex. App.—Austin June 18, 2020, no pet. history). The attorney filed a no-evidence motion for summary judgment, alleging that he did not owe a fiduciary duty.
Continue Reading Attorney For Lender Did Not Owe Any Fiduciary Duties To Borrower As An Escrow Agent

In Smith v. Malone, parties litigated the propriety of certain transactions in an estate proceeding before a statutory probate court. No. 01-19-00266-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4622 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] June 23, 2020, no pet. history). At trial, the estate’s representative asked for a record, but the court refused. After there was an adverse judgment, the representative appealed and asserted, among other arguments, that the judgment must be reversed due to the failure of the trial court to make a transcript of the evidence.
Continue Reading What Did He Say? A Court Reverses A Statutory Probate Court’s Order Because There Was No Record

In Caceres v. Kerri Grahamas Dependent Adm’r of the Estate of Alicia Maribel Procell, decedent was survived by a minor child and her estate was insolvent. No. 14-18-00826-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4198 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] May 28, 2020, no pet. history). The trial court appointed a dependent administrator and approved the administrator’s inventory, appraisement, and list of claims. The administrator had included the decedent’s homestead on the estate’s inventory and represented that the estate had a claim for the rental income from the homestead.
Continue Reading Court Holds That Decedent’s Residence Was Homestead That Was Exempt From Claims Against Her Estate

In In re Estate of Scott, an annuity company sued a customer’s estate for not reporting the death of his wife, which resulted in him receiving larger monthly payments after her death than he was entitled to under the contract. No. 04-19-00592-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4059 (Tex. App.—San Antonio May 27, 2020, no