• Blog Post

    Eight Questions and Answers about Fiduciary Litigation

    What is fiduciary litigation?   Fiduciary litigation encompasses a wide range of legal actions including, without limitation, trust and estate litigation, will contests (also referred to as caveat proceedings), breach of individual and corporate fiduciary duty claims, and guardianship proceedings.  Fiduciary litigation is becoming increasingly relevant as the baby boomer generation continues to age.   What is a fiduciary?   A fiduciary is an individual or corporation in whom another places trust and confidence to act in their best interest.  Generally speaking, a fiduciary is tasked with prudently caring for the financial assets of another.   What are the types of fiduciary relationships? Relationships created by statute, such as in…

  • Blog Post

    Rule 11 Sanctions and Incompetency Proceedings

              In Re Cranor began as a straightforward incompetency proceeding, but devolved into a Rule 11 battle between two North Carolina attorneys.[1]  The proceeding centered on a woman named Carole Cranor.  Because of her early onset dementia, Carole had difficulty preparing meals for herself, suffered dehydration, and sustained a fall due to her diminished mental capacity.  As such, she hired a friend and attorney, Harriet Hopkins, to help her choose a long-term care facility and get her affairs in order.  Despite a falling out over their mother’s estate some years back, Frank, Carole’s brother, intervened when he realized Ms. Hopkins drafted a durable power of attorney (“DPOA”)…

  • Blog Post

    Guardianship Proceedings in North Carolina

             It is prudent to execute a healthcare and/or financial power of attorney well in advance of necessity to ensure your individual wishes are honored in the event you are unable to attend to your own needs.  However, competency is required to execute a power of attorney.  If you become incompetent and do not have a durable power of attorney, it will be necessary for someone to petition the court to appoint a guardian to manage your affairs.         Before appointing a guardian, the court first determines whether an individual is legally incompetent.  The adjudication of incompetence is heard by the clerk of court…

  • Firm News

    Lindley Law Secures Order Striking Deed from Chain of Title

    Earlier this month, Lindley Law secured an order declaring a contested deed null and void for lack of proper authentication.  Representing the guardian of the estate of an elderly woman who was adjudicated incompetent, Lindley Law sought to protect her property interest from an attempted transfer by her son.   Lindley Law alleged the deed was invalid under eight different legal theories, including fraud and forgery.  In performing its due diligence, Lindley Law located the mother’s notarized signature from twenty-nine (29) other documents over a time period spanning more than twenty (20) years.  The signature on the deed in question did not resemble the other known signatures, but a handwriting…