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Statute Of Limitations Barred Successor Trustee From Pursuing Claims Against Predecessor

October 3, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Statute Of Limitations Barred Successor Trustee From Pursuing Claims Against Predecessor

October 3, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

To the extent that a successor trustee must pursue claims against the predecessor trustee, when does the clock start ticking for the successor to bring those claims?  The answer to that question likely ends up being state specific, but in Robert K. Ward Living Trust v. Peck, we get some guidance under North Carolina law, including some clarification on whether the “continuing wrong doctrine” applies to breach of trust claims against a trustee.

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Incapacity, Death, and Statutes of Limitation

February 17, 2012

Authors

Luke Lantta

Incapacity, Death, and Statutes of Limitation

February 17, 2012

by: Luke Lantta

We’ve previously looked at statutes of limitation in the context of fiduciary litigation.   As a quick refresher, a lawsuit has to be commenced within so many years after the complained of act occurred or you can’t pursue the lawsuit.  There are exceptions to this rule which allow a statute of limitation to be extended, or “tolled.”

Tolling of statutes of limitations can come up with greater frequency in the fiduciary litigation context because certain events like incapacity can toll a statute of limitations.

In Estate of Formyduval, the North Carolina Court of Appeals examined, under North Carolina law, the interplay between incapacity, death, and the statute of limitations for an action to set aside deeds on the basis of fraud and/or undue influence

Let’s take a quick look at the background of this lawsuit over the estate of

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Decedent Failed To Change IRA Beneficiaries Through Will

December 12, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Decedent Failed To Change IRA Beneficiaries Through Will

December 12, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

I’m guessing that most people don’t take the time to read the fine print on life insurance or IRA change of beneficiary forms.  And why should they, since it seems pretty self-explanatory: I once put my wife’s name in this box, now I want to put my kids’ names in that box.  The reason why you want to pay attention to that fine print is because – to be effective – that fine print usually has to be strictly complied with.

In Smith v. Marez, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, applying New York law, ruled that a decedent’s failure to strictly comply with the change of beneficiary form requirements for his IRAs meant that the IRA assets went to his wife and not his kids.

So what did Leonard George Smith do wrong?

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North Carolina Caveator Wins “Close” Undue Influence Case

September 16, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

North Carolina Caveator Wins “Close” Undue Influence Case

September 16, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

While it’s still rare for an undue influence case to make it to a jury, it seems that courts have been gradually loosening the requirements to allow more plaintiffs to present their cases to a jury.  Perhaps it’s simply a matter of numbers as more aging Baby Boomers are beginning to succumb to “old age and physical and mental weakness,” which opens the door to an undue influence claim.

Whatever the reasons, we are seeing more appellate decisions involving plaintiffs having won undue influence claims at the trial court level.  Earlier this month, in In the Matter of the Estate of Raney, the North Carolina Court of Appeals considered the appeal of a jury verdict in which a jury – after being presented with a lot of bad and good facts – concluded that the propounder of a will had exerted undue influence over the testatrix.  In light of these mixed

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