Latest From Knowledge Library

David F. Johnson presented his paper “Practical Issues Concerning Power of Attorney Transactions” to the Annual Legal Conference 2021 hosted by the Texas Bankers Association and the Southwest Association of Bank Counsel on October 7, 2021. This presentation addressed many of the common issues that financial institutions face when a customer’s agent under a power

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, discusses in this two part series many of the interesting and complex issues that arise from trustees making trust distributions to beneficiaries. The first part of the series discussed the general standards for trust distributions. The second part of this series will address other issues concerning distributions, such as the duty to disclose distributions, the duty of impartiality, the principal and income act, prudent investor act, trust provisions that allow the divesting of a beneficiary’s right to distributions, issues arising from a trustee also being a beneficiary, trustee discretion in distributing a trust upon termination, distributions to minors or incapacitated beneficiaries, loans from a trust as a distribution, spendthrift trust issues, co-trustee managing issues, exculpatory clauses, trustee’s defense of failure to know of facts relevant for distributions, trustee’s rights regarding overdistributions, and other relevant issues.
Continue Reading FSIG Webinar – Distributions from Trusts in Texas: Part Two

Trust beneficiaries often request a corporate trustee to prepare a statutory accounting. The Texas Trust Code in Section 113.151 provides that a beneficiary may request a written statement of accounts. Tex. Prop. Code 113.151. Regarding what information needs to be contained in a written statement of accounts, parties and the courts must first look to the terms of the trust. Tex. Prop. Code § 111.0035(b). As one commentator provides: “The settlor may specify in the terms of the trust instrument what must be contained in an accounting by the trustee. When the trust instrument is silent concerning the contents of an accounting, the Trust Code provides a list of items that must be included in every accounting.” 4 Texas Probate, Estate and Trust Administration § 81.63. A trustee and a court should give deference to the trust document and follow its requirements (whether more stringent or less stringent than a statutes require).
Continue Reading Corporate Trustee’s Statements May Suffice For A Statutory Accounting

David F. Johnson presented his paper “Business Divorce: Minority Shareholder Rights In Texas” to the State Bar of Texas’s Business Disputes Course on September 2-3, 2021. This presentation addressed shareholder oppression claims in Texas, minority shareholder rights (such as contractual rights, stock rights, disclosure rights, distribution rights, employment rights, and receivership rights), fiduciary duties in

David F. Johnson presented “Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Trustees/Managers of Closely-Held Businesses” with Kenneth J. Fair of Wright Close & Barger, LLP, on July 22, 2021, for Strafford Webinars to a national audience. This presentation covered various issues involved in a trustee owning an interest in a closely-held business when disputes arise. The

David Johnson presented his paper “The More The Merrier? Issues Arising From Co-Trustees Administering Trusts” to the State Bar of Texas’s Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course on June 9, 2021. This presentation addressed the advantages and drawbacks for co-trustee management, who can be a co-trustee and succession issues, fiduciary duties and joint management, the

David F. Johnson recently published a new law review article: “Tricks, Traps, and Snares in Appealing a Summary Judgment in Texas, 72 BAYLOR L. REV. 564 (Fall 2020).” David originally published this article in 1998 with Chief Justice William J. Cornelius of the Sixth Court of Appeals of Texas. David’s original article has been cited

In this webinar, David F. Johnson will discuss the different types of exculpatory clauses in trust documents, why they exist, the historical treatment of exculpatory clauses in Texas, Texas’s current statutory provisions that impact their enforcement, and current precedent impacting the enforcement of such clauses.

Continuing Education Credit Information:
This course has been approved for

David F. Johnson recently published his article “Fiduciary Compensation and Forfeiture in Texas” in the Texas Tech Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal. This article addresses many of the interesting issues that arise in trustee compensation disputes. The article addresses a trustee’s authority to compensation under the trust document, statutes, and common law, and