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Estates and Trusts

MARY JANE WEISER v. MARY H. JEWELL LIVING TRUST, et al.

NOTICE OF APPEAL -- APPELLATE BRIEFS -- Mary Jane Weiser, appellant, is a daughter of the late Mary Helen Jewell (“Helen”). In 2007, Helen established the “Mary H. Jewell Living Trust,” which she amended in 2011. On December 18, 2011, Helen died. Appellant has a younger sister, Betty Bryant, and a younger brother, Edward Jewell, Jr. Appellant and her sister Betty were named the Successor Trustees under the 2007 Trust, with Helen serving as the initial Trustee. Generally speaking, the 2007 Trust directed that, following Helen’s death, the trust property remaining after the payment of final expenses would be divided in thirds and distributed outright to each of Helen’s three children. The 2011 amendment to Helen’s trust had the effect of removing appellant as a Trustee, and substituting her brother Edward as Trustee; additionally, rather than an outright distribution to appellant and her siblings of one-third of the remaining Trust corpus, the 2011 amendment directed that appellant’s one-third share be placed in a trust for her, with Betty and Edward as trustees. Betty and Edward were directed to provide appellant with a monthly stipend of $1,400.00, and the amendment empowered Betty and Edward, in their discretion, to pay appellant additional sums out of the Trust assets. The 2011 Amendment did not change the provision in the 2007 Trust that Betty and Edward be paid their one-third shares of the remaining Trust assets outright.

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DIANE TURECAMO CAREY v. JOHN J. RYAN, ET AL.

MOTION TO REMOVE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE -- FAILURE TO FILE BOND ON TIMELY BASIS -- This appeal arises from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County, the Honorable William C. Mulford, II, presiding, affirming an order of the Orphans’ Court for Anne Arundel County. The Orphans’ Court’s order denied Diane Carey’s motion to hold John J. Ryan, personal representative of the estate of Vincent B. Turecamo—the father of Ms. Carey—in contempt and to remove him as the personal representative of Mr. Turecamo’s estate. Ms. Carey presents twelve issues on appeal but in our view they can be consolidated into one: Did the Circuit Court err in denying Ms. Carey’s motion?

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VALERIE KLINE, ET AL. v. ESTATE OF WILLIAM E. KNIGHT, ET AL.

CIVIL PROCEDURE -- REQUEST TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT -- TIMELINESS -- This case comes before us for the fourth time following our decision in Kline v. Knight, Sept. Term 1999, No 2238 (filed December 2000) (Knight I), cert. denied, 363 Md. 660 (2001), after remand to the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Kline v. Knight, Sept. Term 2001, No. 2647 (filed August 28, 2003) (Knight II), and finally Kline v. Knight, Sept. Term 2006, No. 2791 (filed June 15, 2009) (Knight III). This case originated from a contract dispute that arose between appellants, Valerie Kline and Mary Kellam, and appellees, Estate of Williams Knight, et al., while parties were part of the Flower Road Joint Venture (“the Venture”). Appellants alleged that appellee breached his contractual duty by obtaining a release of his personal guaranty of a note on behalf of the Venture.

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In the matter of the estate of Dorothy B. Sensibaugh

I. Whether the Orphans’ Court erred in allowing the Personal Representative to retain counsel under MD. CODE, EST. & TRUSTS § 7-401(x) (West 2014) without prior court approval and to seek the attorneys’ fees from the Estate without said approval. II. Whether the Orphans’ Court erred in finding Estate counsel was entitled to attorneys’ fees for administration of the Estate, as well as for defending against litigation brought by appellant.

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ANTON J. BERK v. CAROLE A. BERK ET AL.

Anton Berk filed a multi-count civil action in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County against Carole Berk, several lawyers and a law firm for their various roles in implementing estate planning arrangements made by Anton’s deceased father, Maurice Berk. Carole, Maurice’s wife, was a trustee of an irrevocable insurance trust established by Maurice. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Carole and dismissed Anton’s claims against the other defendants. On appeal, Anton argues that the circuit court erred in doing so.

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