Estate of Candace Morris, Los Angeles Superior Court – Case No. BP058292
Petitioner and his girlfriend purchased a house together as joint tenants. In order to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a new condominium, Petitioner quitclaimed his interest in the house to his girlfriend, intending that they would return ownership to joint tenancy after the purchase had concluded. However, Petitioner’s girlfriend unexpectedly died of a brain hemorrhage before the transfer back to joint tenancy could be accomplished. Petitioner filed an action against the personal representative of his girlfriend’s estate to recover his interest in the house. The trial court held in favor of Petitioner, determining that there was a constructive trust on the house, and ordered the personal representative to immediately convey the house to Petitioner. Mr. Bradford represented the Petitioner.
Estate of Harold Kramer, Los Angeles Superior Court – Case No. BP072650
Respondent was the court-appointed personal representative of his uncle’s estate. The brother of the decedent received less than he believed he deserved in the decedent’s will, and filed a will contest to claim that the will was invalid, and that Respondent had committed fraud by inducing him not to timely contest the will. The will contest was filed nearly 500 days after the brother received a copy of the will, despite a statute granting no more than 120 days to do so. The trial court held that the brother had filed his will contest too late, that no fraud had been committed by Respondent, and denied his petition. Mr. Bradford represented the Respondent.
In re the Ronald S. Gelb Living Trust, Santa Barbara Superior Court – Case No. 01105116
Mr. Bradford represented the registered domestic partner of a decedent who died leaving numerous assets, including valuable parcels of real estate. The mother of the decedent, named as successor trustee of the trust, attempted to thwart the intent of the decedent by attempting to force a distribution to our client far less than the distribution provided in the trust. The matter was successfully settled with our client receiving his full share of the trust estate as intended by the decedent, as well as reimbursement for his attorneys’ fees.
In re the Jones Family Trust, Santa Clara Superior Court – Case No. 109 PR 164 702
Petitioner was an equal beneficiary of her parent’s living trust along with her five siblings. The elderly parents moved into Petitioner’s home during the final years of their lives, and pursuant to the agreement of all of the siblings, trust monies were used to remodel Petitioner’s home in order to accommodate the parents’ needs. After the deaths of both parents, two of Petitioner’s siblings, named as successor co-trustees of the trust, decided that Petitioner had already received enough of the trust estate during her lifetime due to the remodeling of her house, and completely cut the Petitioner out of the remaining trust distribution. Petitioner filed an action to claim her one-sixth interest in her parent’s trust estate. Respondents counter-claimed alleging financial elder abuse. In a settlement after mediation, the Petitioner recovered her share of the trust estate. Mr. Bradford represented the Petitioner.
Estate of Carmen Asadourian, Los Angeles Superior Court – Case Nos. BP095186, BP096901, BP096902 and BP097213
Mr. Bradford represented the brother of a deceased woman, whose husband had unilaterally transferred multiple parcels of real estate and other assets out of the decedent’s living trust while she was dying of cancer in the hospital. The brother was named the successor trustee of the trust, and its primary beneficiary. Our client filed an action to recover all of the transferred assets from the husband, who alleged that our client had no legal standing to file his petition, and that he had violated the no contest provision of the decedent’s will. The trial court denied the husband’s petitions, and the case eventually settled favorably to our client.
Appellate Court Opinions (Unpublished) (Click on case to display opinion)
Estate of Candace Morris, California Court of Appeal – Second District – Case No. B148178
Appeal from trial verdict in favor of Respondent, who was granted a full interest in the house he purchased with his girlfriend prior to her death. The Appellant alleged that the trial court had improperly held in favor of the Respondent, claiming that the prior joint tenancy was severed by the execution of the quitclaim deed, and an oral promise to reconvey the real property was invalid under the Statute of Frauds. The Court of Appeal disagreed, and the appeal was denied. Mr. Bradford represented the Respondent.
Estate of Harold Kramer, California Court of Appeal – Second District – Case No. B175770
Appeal from trial verdict in favor of Respondent denying Appellant’s will contest due to lapse of the 120-day statute of limitations before filing the action. Appellant claimed that Respondent had fraudulently induced him to refrain from filing his will contest until after the 120-day statute had lapsed. The appeal was denied. Respondent recovered his costs on appeal. Mr. Bradford represented the Respondent.
Allahverdi v. Asadourian, California Court of Appeal – Second District – Case No. B191586 c/w B194739
Appeal of Petitioner from a trial court order denying his Petition for Determination of Violation of No Contest Clause as a result of a will contest filed by Respondent. Petitioner also appealed from a trial court order denying his Petition for Determination that Challenge to the First Amendment of 1998 Asadourian Revocable Trust is a violation of the no contest clause contained in the decedent’s will. The Court of Appeal remanded the matter back to the trial court to determine the status of the no-contest issue. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court held in favor of our client, that there was no violation of the no contest clause. Mr. Bradford represented the Respondent.
The cases summarized on this page are representative of the matters handled by Scherer & Bradford, and are not intended to be all-inclusive of the firm’s practice areas. Prior results are no guarantee of a similar outcome in any case.