Trial over estate assets begins

David Yates Apr. 11, 2011, 9:32am

Jury selection in a civil trial over estate rental income flowing into a trust started Monday, April 11.

According to the lawsuit filed May 7, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court, plaintiffs Marilyn Gregory and Elizabeth Crow claim their late father, Joseph Lee Victorian, created the Joseph Lee Victorian Trust before his death.

Defendants Raymond M. Brassard, Patrick Dargin, John K. Victorian and Loretta Payne Victorian are also trustees.

Under the terms of the trust, the majority of the trustees must consent to an action before it occurs.

Court records show Gregory and Crow - the trust's only living beneficiaries - say the trust's assets include rental properties, warehouses and other real property.

The dispute between the trustees arose after Gregory and Crow claim they have never been asked to vote on or meet with their co-trustees regarding any actions the co-trustees performed.

"Defendants, without Plaintiffs' consent, have allowed defendant Loretta Payne Victorian to manage the assets of the Trust," the suit states.

"Plaintiffs do not trust Payne and do not believe Payne is acting in the best interests of the Plaintiffs/Beneficiaries. In other words, the interests of Payne and the interest of the Plaintiffs are adverse."

Gregory and Crow allege breach of fiduciary duty and are seeking to be declared the only trustees of the trust.

Wyatt D. Snider, Jason M. Byrd, Justin G. Sanderson and Russell W. Heald of Snider and Byrd in Beaumont represent the plaintiffs.

The defendants are represented in part by Beaumont attorney Bruce Partain.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is presiding over the trial.

Case No. D186-804

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