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Araiza v. Younkin

California Court of Appeal
116 Cal.Rptr.3d 315 (2010)


Facts

Lucia Howery opened a savings account. Howery was the only person authorized to withdraw funds from the savings account, but she named Lori Younkin as the account’s beneficiary. The signature card for the savings account listed Howery as the account holder and Younkin as the beneficiary. Howery later established a living trust, which was funded in part with the savings account. The trust expressly provided that, upon Howery’s death, the savings account was to be given to Gabriella Reeves. After Howery died, Ronald Araiza became successor trustee. Araiza (plaintiff) petitioned the court for an order allowing him to convey the savings account to Reeves. Younkin (defendant) objected. The trial court found that Howery’s trust changed the account’s beneficiary from Younkin to Reeves, and Younkin appealed, arguing that Howery failed to change the beneficiary designation of the savings account in a manner authorized by law.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Yegan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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