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Attorneys Fees awarded against beneficiaries after challenging a trust distribution comes out of their share of the inheritance

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2017 | Trusts Estates |

Beneficiaries of a trust lost a challenge to the sale of trust property by the trustee. The trial court ordered them to pay the trust’s attorney fees and costs, making the beneficiaries personally liable. The Court of Appeal affirmed the award of attorney fees, but reversed the order insofar as it made the beneficiaries personally liable for them, stating: “We conclude that the attorney fees and costs were properly and lawfully imposed under the trial court’s equitable power over the trust, except to the extent the trial court made [the beneficiaries] personally liable for attorney fees and costs, rather than liable solely from their shares of the trust assets.” (Pizarro v. Reynoso (Cal. App. 3rd Dist., Jan. 18, 2017) 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 33.) http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C077594.DOCX