Archive for December, 2009

Professor John Langbein Discusses the Modern Trust as a Will Substitute (2009-12-26)

Legal scholar John Langbein addresses a question that has been on my mind – When did trust agreements evolve from classic fiduciary relationships into will substitutes? The answer is – a long time ago.  Explains Prof. Langbein, “Trust law is an ancient field.  The enforcement of trusts in the English court of Chancery can be […]






Fiduciary Duties Arising From Charitable Contributions – Section 17510.8 (2009-12-19)

Relationship-based fiduciary duties (as counterposed with contract-based fiduciary duties) arise in many different situations.  I recently came across an extension of the fiduciary concept in the field of charitable solicitations. Specifically, California Business and Professions Code section 17510.8 states, “There exists a fiduciary relationship between a charity or any person soliciting on behalf of a […]






A Revocable Trust Is Not a Separate Legal Entity – Part 2 (2009-12-12)

A second recent opinion reinforces the fundamental rule that an inter-vivos revocable trust is not an entity separate from the trustee.  In Presta v. Tepper, 2009 DJDAR 16603 (Nov. 27, 2009), the court provided the following analysis: “Two men enter into a real estate investment partnership, each acting in his capacity of trustee of a […]






A Revocable Trust Is Not a Separate Legal Entity – Part 1 (2009-12-6)

A pair of decisions from last month reinforce the fundamental rule that an inter-vivos revocable trust is not an entity separate from the trustee.  The first opinion, 1680 Property Trust v. Newman Trust, 2009 DJDAR 16161 (Nov. 17, 2009) states the rule with elegant simplicity, to wit: “Unlike a corporation, a trust is not a […]