Fiduciary Trust International of California v. KleinAnnotate this Case
In 2015, the court of appeal upheld the probate court’s decision to grant the petition of Alexander Hughes, the sole noncontingent trust beneficiary (and trustor Mark Hughes’ only child), to suspend and remove trustees due to their breach of trust in failing to exercise reasonable prudence in connection with the trust’s sale of Tower Grove, a 157-acre parcel of previously undeveloped Beverly Hills real property. A subsequent order allowed the former trustees to withhold from the successor trustee and Alexander Hughes, some, but not all, of a collection of documents identified on a supplemental privilege log submitted by the former trustees under court order. The documents, which are from the trust’s legal files and relate to two trust accountings submitted by the former trustees prior to their removal, were withheld on the basis of attorney-client privilege. The court of appeal reversed in part, finding that the probate court failed to consistently and appropriately apply the legal standards prescribed by the California Supreme Court.