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How to Use a Claimant’s Knowledge Against Them

Are you worried that you have a losing trust or estate case involving mitigation of damages? To find out if there is hope for your situation, consult with Tucker Cheadle, a trust and estate planning expert witness who will understand the complexity of your case, utilize decades of industry knowledge and experience, and will find a solution to help you win.

Throughout his entire career, Tucker Cheadle has worked diligently to successfully advance creative, unique solutions to seemingly hopeless trust and estate cases.



For example, Tucker Cheadle was retained as an expert witness to testify in a very complex dispute over a will in Los Angeles County. Prior to his involvement, the will was declared invalid because it was signed through a power of attorney instead of being personally signed, as required by California law.

Because the law is quite black and white, it would seem that the drafting company that retained Tucker Cheadle as an expert had no defense to this claim. A will had to be personally signed. Unfazed, Tucker Cheadle analyzed the unique fact situation to develop and successfully argue a creative solution.

Here is a brief overview of the facts:
  1. The only asset of the estate was a retirement plan.
  2. The beneficiary that filed the claim against the drafting company had her own business advising individuals as to retirement plans and how to transfer them.
Based on these facts, Tucker Cheadle testified in deposition that the claimant had the knowledge and experience with retirement plans that went beyond those of a normal person, giving her the ability to prepare the documents herself, thus avoiding probate of the will.

Later on in the same case, Tucker Cheadle rendered his expert’s opinion on statute of limitations issues related to the claimant’s knowledge, as well as the claimant’s tax preparer’s knowledge. Even though a settlement seemed impossible only two months prior, Tucker Cheadle’s expert witness testimony in deposition led to a quick settlement of this case.

The knowledge he draws upon in such testimony has been built over a four decade-long career as an attorney, tax expert, and licensed trustee. He has served as a fiduciary, trustee, executor, and administrator on more than 100 trusts and wills, giving him a comprehensive background and knowledge that uniquely qualifies him to evaluate all types of cases.

Tucker Cheadle has been qualified to testify as an expert witness in the areas of income taxes for estates, trusts and beneficiaries, trust accountings, standard of care for drafting trust and estate documents, standard of care for administration of trusts and estates, and reasonableness of attorney’s fees and trustee’s fees, among others. He has served as an expert witness in cases filed in Los Angeles County, Orange County, the surrounding counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Reno and Cleveland.

Call Tucker Cheadle at 949-553-1066 to discuss your trust or estate planning expert witness needs including ones which involve mitigation of damages by a drafter of estate planning documents.

A review of any materials on this web page, any preliminary comments or an introductory meeting does not constitute legal, income tax or accounting advice upon which reliance can be placed. The attorney client relationship can only be created by a written retainer agreement following a check of potential and actual conflicts of interest with other clients.
Copyright 2020 Cheadle Law. All Rights Reserved.
Tucker Cheadle Trust Administrator

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