White v. WearAnnotate this Case
This case was one of many "disagreements" about the control of the multi-million-dollar estate of Thomas Tedesco. Plaintiff-respondent Laura White was one of Thomas’s three biological daughters and a cotrustee of his living trust. Defendant-appellant Debra Wear (aka Debbie Basara Wear) was one of Thomas’s stepdaughters. In 2013, Thomas suffered serious health issues, which resulted in significant cognitive impairment, leaving him susceptible to being unduly influenced by anyone close to him. Gloria Tedesco, Thomas’s second wife, began denying White and her sisters access to their father, causing him to believe that they were stealing from him. Wear assisted Gloria, her mother, in unduly influencing Thomas via contacting, or facilitating access to, attorneys in order to change Thomas’s estate plan to disinherit his biological family in favor of Gloria and her family. In 2015, a permanent conservator of Thomas’s estate was appointed. Despite the existence of the conservatorship, Wear continued to assist Gloria in taking actions to unduly influence Thomas to change his 30-plus-year estate plan. Consequently, upon White’s petition, the superior court issued an elder abuse restraining order (EARO), restraining Wear for three years from, among other things, financially abusing Thomas, contacting him (either directly or indirectly), facilitating any change to his estate plan, coming within 100 yards of him, and possessing any guns, other firearms, and ammunition. Wear contended the EARO was void because: (1) the judge was disqualified; and (2) he violated due process by substantially amending the allegations in the petition and prohibiting her from possessing firearms and ammunition. She further claimed the petition failed to state a cause of action for elder financial abuse. The Court of Appeal agreed the court erred in including a firearms and ammunition restriction in the EARO and directed the trial court to strike it. Otherwise, the Court affirmed.