Esoteric Rulings re Mechanics Liens and Inheritance Rights

   There were two cases decided today which are relevant and important to my areas of practice. They are esoteric for a blog post which is not directed to experts. Nonetheless, one holding is important to my clients who are contractors. The other for my clients whose inheritance in uncertain due to a change in the Probate code between the making of a Will and the death of the decedent who takes under a power of appointment.

    The short take-away for contractors is that only property owners, not lenders, may contest the validity of a mechanics lien after suit to foreclose has been filed. Cal Sierra Construction, Inc. v. Comerica Bank.

    For beneficiaries under a Will or trust, the take-way is that the law in effect at the time a Will is created, if necessary to give effect to the testator’s intent, governs. This may require a careful analysis of multiple testamentary documents and the law in effect at various times. In this case, it made the difference between a grandchild being disinherited by his father, or being entitled to a substantial portion of his grandfather’s estate.  Sefton v. Sefton.


  I consult with clients and accept cases involving contractors and mechanics liens. I also consult with clients and accept cases involving the interpretation and analysis of testamentary documents, and represent executors, trustees, and beneficiaries under the terms of those documents. For other types of cases I accept, please scroll my “Home” and “My Practice” pages. If you are seeking a legal consultation or representation, please give me a call at 818.971.9409. – Michael Daymude

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