734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

PROBATE 45: A claim is abandoned when a party fails to address the issue in its brief on appeal.

This case arises out of a dispute among the T siblings regarding the administration of their mother’s trust. The trust was executed on August 19, 2010. At that time, the mother was the trust’s settlor and sole trustee.

Trust

The mother transferred all her personal property as well as her house to the trust. After the mother’s death the trust’s assets were to be divided into six substantially equal shares to the surviving children. Finally, the trust appointed S as the successor trustee and T as the alternate successor trustee.

After the mother’s death, S initially promised to sell the house to SR, M, and T (the buyers). S failed sell the house to that group of his siblings, however, and he became hostile to them and to M. The issue of how to distribute the trust’s assets, and specifically what to do with the mother’s house, eventually led to litigation. The hostility between the siblings caused the trial court to order S to sell the house to the buyers; it appointed a special fiduciary to oversee that process due to the hostility between the siblings. The buyers eventually purchased the house over a year later.

Settlement Agreement

Samuel argues that the trial court erred by failing to enforce a settlement agreement he alleges the parties reached at the February 3, 2016, hearing, pursuant to which S would sell the house to the buyers.

Claim Abandoned

S fails to actually state the terms of the alleged settlement the parties agreed to at the February 3, 2016 hearing. He similarly fails to state the legal requirements for a valid settlement agreement. Instead, the only legal argument in the brief is citation to three sections of the Michigan trust code, establishing that a trustee generally can administer a trust without judicial supervision, he or she may settle claims against the trust, and the trustee can be removed only if he or she commits a serious breach of his or her duties as a trustee.

S never provided a sustained argument or authority for his position.  A claim is abandoned when a party fails to adequately address the issue in its brief on appeal. Because S failed to address this issue on the merits, it is abandoned. It is unusual for the court to decide a case without addressing any of the issues on the merits. But S presented the court with an unusual situation because he failed to present any substantive legal argument in this case

Do Not Face Probate Litigation on Your Own

Probate litigation is complex and requires the attention of experienced and knowledgeable counsel. Whether your case is best resolved by negotiated agreement or by trial, you can rely on Aldrich Legal Services for the strong advocacy you require.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405