Articles Posted in Estate Planning

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Appellant retained Law Firm as his counsel in two cases filed against Appellant by his brother. The parties settled. Thereafter, the circuit court (1) ordered Appellant to pay $130,000 to his attorney from proceeds deposited with the circuit court pursuant to the settlement agreement; (2) denied Appellant a jury trial on the attorney's fee issue; and (3) refused to allow an appeal bond pursuant to Va. Code Ann. 8.01-676.1(C), which would have suspended execution of its award. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) had jurisdiction to resolve Law Firm's fee dispute with Appellant; (2) did not err in overruling Appellant's jury trial request; and (3) erred in refusing Appellant's request to post an appeal bond and suspend the award, but because the court's award to Law Firm was proper, the error was harmless.View "Henderson v. Ayres & Hartnett, P.C." on Justia Law

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Carolyn Osman had three sons, all of whom were the beneficiaries of Carolyn's estate and various trusts. Carolyn died in 2009 as a result of her son Michael's actions. Her cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. Michael was found not guilty of first-degree murder for reason of insanity. The executors of Carolyn's estate and co-trustees of the trusts subsequently filed a request for declaratory judgment in the circuit court asking the court to declare that Michael was a "slayer" under Va. Code 55-401. The circuit court found that although Michael was found not guilty by reason of insanity, he was a slayer under section 55-401 and could not share in the proceeds from his mother's estate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in holding that Michael was a slayer under section 55-401, and that as a result, Michael could not inherit his share of his mother's estate.View "Osman v. Osman" on Justia Law