Posts Categorized: Trust Contests


Written Trusts: What it takes to create a valid California Trust Fun fact: Trusts are not testamentary documents.  That means Trusts do not have to follow all of the strict rules required to make a valid Will.  Wills require a written document, signed by the decedent and witnessed by two witnesses…not so for Trusts. Trusts fall into a broad category of estate planning vehicles known as “Will substitutes” because they ...

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Trust and Will Interpretation: Give some effect to every expression Language the English tricky can be.  Many a Trust or Will has been litigated over the use of language.  While the words may seem perfectly clear when written, circumstances can change, unforeseen events can occur, and misunderstandings can arise that lead to ambiguity in how a Trust or Will should be interpreted and enforced. Luckily, the California Probate Code ...

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Construction of California Trusts and Wills When Trust or Will terms cannot be discerned by the way in which they were written, the court must follow the interpretation rules set out in the California Probate Code.  One of those rules is found at Section 21121, which requires the Court to read the Trust or will document as a consistent whole.  What does that mean? ...

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California Trust Interpretation: Words given their ordinary meaning When a Court is asked to interpret a Trust or Will document, one of the primary rules of interpretation is Probate Code Section 21122, which requires that all words used in a Trust or Will be given their ordinary meaning. That seems like an obvious rule—shouldn’t all words be given their ordinary meaning?  But funny things can happen when ...

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A Good Back Story

Proving Undue Influence In The Bay Area: A Good Back Story

It can be hard to convince and judge or jury to rule in your favor unless you have a good back-story.  That means a good reason why someone would have left you assets had they not been unduly influenced.  In this video, partner Keith A. Davidson describes the need for a good story to go along with your undue influence ...

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Power Of the Law

The Power Of Law: San Diego Probate Court Can Help You

The Law can be a powerful tool when used wisely.  The law is there for a reason, to settle disputes, right wrongs, and help with an orderly flow of rights.  The problem is that fewer and fewer lawyers are relying on the power of law.  With trial dates hard to come by, and fewer lawyers going to trial, the law ...

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