Do You Legally Know What Your Attorney Knows?

Introduction

An attorney is an agent for the person (principal) that he represents. Agency law imputes the knowledge of the agent to the principal. If an agent knows something, the law says that the principal knows it as well.

Facts

An interesting case out of Ohio had the question of do you legally know what your attorney knows come up in relation to a will contest. In Ohio, (more…)

England Seeing Increase in Will Contest

Increase in Will ContestEngland seeing an increase in will contest, why?

For the same reasons Texas is seeing an increase in will contest. I have previously written on why contesting a will has become more common. You can view that article here. An English law firm, Soosmiths, has an article on their website that discusses the Ministry of Justice statements on the causes of the increase in such cases in England. The increase is as much as 700% over prior years!

English law is different from Texas law but the law firm notes several reasons that I have previously discussed like the change in the family structure and the fact that we are living longer. The English article also talks about self made or do it yourself wills being a cause (more…)

Necessary Parties To Will Contest

Necessary parties to will contestNecessary parties to will contest

In every lawsuit, there are necessary parties. For instance, a husband cannot file for divorce without making his wife a party and serving her with citation. The same may be true in will contest but there is a difference between states as to who constitutes a necessary party.

In Rem

In Texas, will contest are in rem, while in other states, will contest or in personam. In rem means about the thing while in personam means about the person. In rem means that a lawsuit or other legal action is directed at (more…)

Can Minors Contest a Will?

Yes. A minor can contest a will. Usually, a parent will begin contesting a will as “next friend” of the minor. That is the same procedure used in Texas for all lawsuits where a minor is a party. Someone may also be appointed as guardian of the child and start a challenge to a will. What happens if no will contest is filed? In that case, the minor has two years after he reaches eighteen to begin contesting the will. If the person doesn’t start the will contest with two years of reaching eighteen, then he can’t contest it thereafter because of the statute of limitations.

Copyright by Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about inheritance laws, inheritance rights, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want information about contesting a will and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please go to our main site www.texasinheritance.com and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case and there is no fee for the initial consultation.

Can a Texas Fiduciary Avoid Liability by Relying on Accountants and Attorneys?

In Texas, a trustee or other fiduciary may not be able to avoid liability for breach of his fiduciary duty by relying on other professionals like accountants and attorneys. In a case in Houston, children sued their father who was the trustee of the grandmother’s trust. During his deposition, the father repeatedly answered “I don’t recall” and “I don’t remember” to questions about his handling of trust assets. He said that he relied on the advise of his accountant and his attorney.

The father filed a no-evidence summary judgment, a trial mechanism that basically says the other side has no evidence to support their case and it should be dismissed. Normally, the children would have to put on evidence that the father did what they alleged. However, as the appeals court pointed out in cases of breach of fiduciary duty, the burden was on the father to show that he did not breach that duty, not on the children to show that he did. The court also pointed out that the father’s answers of “I don’t recall” and “I don’t remember” were evidence of a breach. The reliance on professionals like accounts and attorneys might win a jury verdict but they could not be used in a no-evidence summary judgment. No. 14-09-00837-CV.

In Texas, fiduciaries like trustees, executors, administrators, etc. are held to the highest duty imposed by law in civil cases. Once a claim is made that they breached that duty, the burden shifts to them to show that they did not breach any duty.

Copyright by Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about inheritance laws, inheritance rights, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want information about contesting a will and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please go to our main site www.texasinheritance.com and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case and there is no fee for the initial consultation.

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