In an estate cases an heir ceases to become an interested person once the will is admitted to probate. A rather officious intermeddling heir sought a court order requiring that she be recognized as an interested person and sought the removal of the personal representative for no particularly stated reason. Mr. Ward filed a motion to deny the relief sought because this petitioner was no longer an interested person and had failed to state a reason for the removal of the personal representative The motion was granted.
Where a trust beneficiary had sought money damages for a loss of trust assets due to the dereliction of the Trustee, Mr. Ward, on behalf of the Trustee made an offer of judgment which the trust beneficiary accepted, no doubt thinking that she would get the entire amount of the offer. The problem was that the Trustee was also a beneficiary along with a third beneficiary. The complaining beneficiary was only entitled to one third of the offer of judgment.
When the second wife of the testator orally agreed with the testator if he devised one half of his house to her that she would leave the one half of the husband’s house he had inherited from his first wife to the husband’s two children from his first wife if the second wife did not need to sell her half of the house for her care and maintenance. After the husband died she had an argument with the kids and devised her half of the house to her cousins. Mr. Ward found a witness who testified that the second wife admitted she had made such an oral agreement with her husband and the court agree that there was corroboration for the promise and awarded the second wife’s half of the house to the testator’s children.
Sometimes when you don’t know anything about a subject you need to find someone who does. Mr. Ward was set to take the deposition of a man who had taken a horse into a bar that subsequently went berserk and injure some patrons. Mr. Ward learned from an experienced horseman that there are snaffle bits and curb bits for horses and that more control can be exercised through a curb bit. The deponent upon questioning admitted that he had only a snaffle bit which indicated he did not exercise reasonable care to see that the horse would behalf.
An expert witness does need to keep up on the law. Several years ago Mr. Ward was called upon to opine on the propriety of the actions of a personal representative. The opposition expert was sure he had us in a tight place. The only problem was his opinion was based upon a repealed rule and Mr. Ward’s was based on the current rule.