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Trusts & Estates – Jury Instructions – Inter Vivos Gift – Retained Interest – Joint Bank Account – Other Assets – Estate Debts & Taxes (access required)

Fortner v. Hornbuckle (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-07-0749, 28 pp.) (Mark Davis, J.) Appealed from Swain County Superior Court (James Downs, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Although the plaintiff-estate administrators presented enough evidence to go to the jury on the question of ...

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Trusts & Estates – Breach of Trust – Self-Dealing – Successive Deeds — Void (access required)

THZ Holdings, LLC v. McCrea Even though the trustee lent the trust money to buy a home for the beneficiaries, there was no deed of trust on the real property, and the subsequently-executed “credit advance agreement” between the trustee and the trust provided that the trust was to repay the trustee by Dec. 31, 2018. When the trustee transferred title to the real property to himself individually in exchange for forgiveness of the purchase-money debt, this was a breach of trust.

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Trusts & Estates – Wills – Widow’s Elective Share – Abandonment Claim – Living Apart (access required)

In re Hendrick After their late-in-life marriage, the decedent and the widow only lived together for about a month before the widow moved back to the city from the decedent’s country home. There was evidence to support the trial court’s findings as to the couple’s continuing relationship – visits, dates, and weekend trips together, as well as the decedent’s caring for the widow when she was disabled by dementia. The trial court’s findings support its conclusion that the widow did not willfully abandon the decedent.

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