Oct 10, 2007
Court of Appeal affirms judgment denying $1 million surcharge against GMSR client, the trustee of family trust

For fifteen years following the death of their mother, the trustor of a family trust, siblings struggled unsuccessfully to agree on how to dispose of trust property. Finally, some siblings petitioned the probate court to surcharge the trustee, another sibling, for allegedly failing to make trust property more productive while his siblings squabbled. The probate court denied the requested surcharge. The disgruntled siblings appealed. The appellate court affirmed in the trustee’s favor, holding there was substantial evidence to support the probate court’s implied findings that the trustee’s actions were reasonable, that his siblings had consented to his actions, and that the disgruntled siblings unreasonably delayed seeking judicial relief.