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Interpreting the California Probate Code: Are Double Damages the Same as Punitive Damages? Does It Matter?

Are double damages under Probate Code Section 859 tantamount to punitive damages? No, not according to an opinion that the Alameda Court of Appeals recently published. Why does it matter? Because the ruling and the legal strategies leading up to the decision hold valuable lessons for almost anyone who has anything to inherit. The case in question, Hill v. Superior Court, shows not only how probate litigation can lead to […]

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When a Trustee Acts in Bad Faith: Lessons from Gray v Jewish Federation

As an estate planning attorney who represents trustees whose actions have been challenged as well as parties who allege wrongdoing by a trustee, I stay current with legal developments in the field. A recent case before the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District is a good lesson. It demonstrates what is ultimately expected of a trustee and what’s at stake in lawsuits involving trusts. So here’s what happened, or […]

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