practice areas

In a will contest action entitled Robinson v. Robinson, Case No. P06-01483, Contra Costa County, the Honorable Nancy Davis Stark presided. Oakland’s Larry E. Lulofs and Herman A. Trutner represented petitioner Brian Robinson. Lafayette’s Stan Pedder represented respondent Scott Robinson.

In August of 2004, 84-year-old blind woman, who was in poor health and resided in a care facility, executed a will leaving her estate equally to her four sons. In 2006, still in very poor health, she executed a new will, eliminating one of her four sons. The attorney who prepared the original will had retired. The second will was actually prepared by one of her sons (you guessed it, not the one who was eliminated). At any rate, mom passed away in 2006. The “eliminated” son contested the will, arguing that mom was incompetent at the time of the execution of the second will, and was under the influence of the son who prepared and arranged for the execution of the second will.

Under the circumstances, there is a legal presumption that the second will was invalid. After four days of trial, the new will (second) was determined to be valid. (Don’t ask me how.)