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Some "Friends" have a bad influence

TRUST AND WILL CONTESTS
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Eva: She’s sleeping now, but I’m glad you called. She wanted me to tell you about some changes in her life.
Dave: Changes? What changes?
Dave: What do you mean, we sold the house?
Eva: We sold the house.
Dave: Who is “we”?
Eva: Your mother asked for my help and I said I would help her.
Dave: She never even told me it was on the market!
Eva: It was your mother’s wishes.
Dave: Who did you sell it to?
Eva: It was your mother’s wishes.
Dave: What was the sale price?
Eva: It was your mother’s wishes.
THE SITUATION

Eva had used her authority as trustee to sell his mother’s home. Eva’s daughter was the buyer. She had put ten percent down and Eva had provided a 10-year note secured by a deed of trust for the remaining purchase price. Eva gave her daughter the money for the down payment. The price was below fair market value, and his mother owed substantial capital gains taxes that could have been avoided if she had held the property until she died.

The only ones who benefitted, Dave’s lawyers would argue, were Eva and her daughter. Eva’s attorney said the transaction was reasonable because Eva was paying an interest rate higher than what Dave’s mother would have received from most other investments.

Many months after the transaction, a court appointed neuropsychiatrist deemed his mother incapable of testifying at trial.

*Disclaimer. This is a fictional narrative based on common fact patterns we have encountered. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The individuals who appear on the accompanying photos are dramatizations of fictional clients, witnesses, attorneys, or other parties. None of the individuals are actual clients, witnesses, attorneys, or parties to actual legal proceedings.
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Loren Barr

Partner
Loren Barr specializes in estate and trust litigation, estate planning, and trust and estate administration.
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Gordon Young is a 25-year litigator who practices in securities, financial, and trust & estate...
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Heidi Imsand

ESTATE PLANNING & TRUST ADMINISTRATION
Heidi’s focus is Estates & Trusts, serving clients from Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San...
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Donald J. Slater

TRUST & ESTATE LITIGATION
Donald’s focus is Trust & Estate Litigation, serving clients from Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara,...
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David Monsour

SECURITIES LITIGATION & TRUST AND ESTATE LITIGATION
David practices in the areas of Securities Litigation and Trust and Estate Litigation.
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Graham D. Douds

TRUST & ESTATE LITIGATION
Graham’s focus is Trust & Estate Litigation, serving clients from Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara,...
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