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Uber v. Hoffmann
California Court of Appeal
No. D037208, 2002 WL 199735 (2002)
Alma Uber created a revocable living trust to manage her assets. Alma named her son, Lloyd Uber, an attorney, as the trustee. Alma then physically handed Lloyd jewelry and two stock certificates as property for the trust. The stock certificates were never endorsed as transferred. Initially, the trust contained instructions to distribute its assets to both Lloyd and his brother, Gordon Uber (plaintiff), at Alma’s death. Later, Alma became incompetent. Lloyd was appointed as Alma’s conservator and attorney-in-fact, which meant that Lloyd could act on Alma’s behalf. At that time, Lloyd formally gave up any interest in the trust’s assets, making Gordon the trust’s sole beneficiary. As Alma’s attorney-in-fact, Lloyd also quitclaimed Alma’s interest in two pieces of real property and transferred the properties to himself as the trustee of the trust. A few years later, Horst Hoffmann (defendant) obtained a legal-malpractice judgment against Lloyd. After Alma died, Lloyd, as the trustee of her estate, signed quitclaim deeds transferring the real property from the trust to Gordon, the trust’s beneficiary. In an attempt to recover the trust’s property to satisfy his judgment against Lloyd, Hoffmann claimed that the trust was invalid because it had not been properly funded. The trial court found that the trust was valid, that all the property at issue had been transferred into the trust, and that the property belonged solely to Gordon, the trust’s beneficiary. Accordingly, the trial court denied Hoffmann’s claim to the property as Lloyd’s creditor. Hoffmann appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McConnell, J.)
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