Cresto v. CrestoAnnotate this Case
The two children (“Children”) of the Decedent challenged the Decedent’s 2008 last will and testament and inter vivos trust, which changed his 2004 estate plan to leave full ownership of his entire property to his third wife and the Children’s second stepmother (“Stepmother”), thereby effectively disinheriting the Children. The district court reinstated Decedent’s 2004 estate plan, concluding that the Stepmother had exerted undue influence over Decedent’s execution of the 2008 testamentary documents. The court, however, refused to award the Children attorney fees from Decedent’s estate. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that insufficient evidence existed to support the district court’s finding of suspicious circumstances with respect to the 2008 documents. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the district court, holding (1) the Court of Appeals exceeded its standard of review by making its own findings of fact and reweighing the evidence on the undue influence issue; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to award attorney fees.