Reineck v. Lemen, 292 Va. 710

November 23, 2016

Record No: 151917

(As published by the Virginia Supreme Court)
In a suit by the heirs of a deceased wife against the attorney-in-fact and co-trustees for the deceased husband, the husband’s power of attorney instrument expressly authorized the creation of inter vivos trusts and gifts to his children. It also authorized the designation of a new beneficiary for his individual retirement account. However, the trial court erred in awarding attorney’s fees to the prevailing parties in a second lawsuit based on actions taken in a prior, separate (though related) case that had ended before the second lawsuit was filed. Further, Code §64.2-795 does not contemplate awarding attorney’s fees against a litigant personally when that litigant is acting in a representative capacity. The award of attorney’s fees is reversed and the judgment is, in all other respects, affirmed.


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