Famous grandson wins inheritance litigation

In matters of estate in California or elsewhere, it is imperative that instructions in a last will and testament or trust be written so that all parties specified clearly understand the terms in the documents. If a particular phrase or wording is ambiguous, it could affect the validity of a particular inheritance document. Actress/model/swimsuit designer Elizabeth Hurley had a son out of wedlock years ago and his biological, paternal grandfather tried to convince the court that the term "grandchild" contained in a trust was ambiguous.

The grandfather, a wealthy real estate heir, established a trust in 1980. It was intended to benefit any and all grandchildren he might one day have through birth or adoption. However, back in March, he decided that since Hurley's son was born out of wedlock, he should not have to consider him a grandchild and filed documents requesting that the legal definition of "grandchild" refer only to offspring his son has actively raised as part of the family.

The grandfather's own son, who had a relationship with Hurley, is said to be worth nearly $500 million. He also has a biological daughter from a different relationship; the grandfather tried to prohibit her from accessing the trust for similar reasons. As it turns out, both Hurley's son and his half-sister will indeed share in a portion of the inheritance associated with the 1980 trust.

The court ruled that the term, "grandchild" is not ambiguous. Hurley's son and his half-sister are both grandchildren to their real estate heir grandfather, no matter how he tried to spin things to say he did not consider them his heirs. If anyone in California is currently having difficult resolving similar family disputes regarding inheritance, it may help to consult an attorney who is well-versed on such issues.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Set up an Initial Consultation »

Need Our Help?

Contact us today to set up an initial consultation with an attorney in Truckee, Sacramento, Reno, Tahoe City, South Lake Tahoe/Zephyr Cove, or Incline Village/Crystal Bay. We can be reached at 530-214-0385. Or send us an email.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations – For an Appointment, Call 530-214-0385

Truckee Office
10280 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161

Phone: 530-214-0385
Fax: 530-214-8158
Truckee Law Office Map

Sacramento Office
1830 15th Street
Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: 530-214-0385
Fax: 916-848-3500
Map & Directions

Reno Office
527 S. Arlington Avenue
Reno, NV 89509

Phone: 530-214-0385
Fax: 775-201-1444
Map & Directions

South Lake Tahoe/Zephyr Cove
212 Elks Point Road
Suite 553
Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Phone: 530-214-0385
Fax: 775-201-1444
Map & Directions

Incline Village/Crystal Bay
22 State Highway 28
Crystal Bay, NV 89402

Fax: 775-201-1444
Map & Directions

Truckee High Street Office
10343 High Street
Suite One
Truckee, CA 96161

Fax: 530-587-0707
Map & Directions

Chico Office
2585 Ceanothus Avenue
Suite 178
Chico, CA 95973

Phone: 530-214-0385
Fax: 530-267-3933
Map & Directions