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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The Mary L. Houseworth Revocable Trust (Houseworth Trust) was established on July 17, 1990. The Houseworth Trust provided for monthly distributions to Mary’s daughter, Kathryn H. Gibbs. Upon Kathryn’s death, Kathryn’s four children were to be the final trust beneficiaries. Mary Houseworth died in 1991, her will was probated, and the revocable trust became irrevocable. The Kathryn H. Gibbs Irrevocable Trust (Gibbs Trust) was also established in 1990. The beneficiaries of the Gibbs Trust were Mary Houseworth, Kathryn Gibbs and Kathryn’s four children. The Gibbs Trust provided for distributions to any of the beneficiaries for health emergencies and provided for coordination of maintenance distributions to Kathryn for her living expenses. As with the Houseworth Trust, Kathryn’s children were the ultimate trust beneficiaries. The Gibbs Trust also provided that, if Kathryn and any three of her four children agreed in writing, additional trust funds could be removed from the trust for Kathryn’s benefit. In 1998, allegedly fearing the circumstances surrounding the impending Y2K scare, Kathryn and three of her four children (the appellants) signed written authorizations to withdraw $1,015,000 from the Gibbs Trust. Appellants used approximately $701,000 of the money to purchase gold coins. They also purchased food and other items in preparation for Y2K. Kip Gibbs, the fourth child, was not consulted regarding the funds withdrawal. Consequently, in September 2000, Kip filed suit as next friend of Kathryn against appellants in Denton County Probate Court. In the suit, Kip asserted claims against appellants for restitution and breach of fiduciary duties related to removal of the trust funds. Kip asked that a constructive trust be declared over all of Kathryn’s property and assets under appellants’ control; asked the trial court to “terminat[e] . . . any right, power, or authority by any of the [appellants] over the Trust assets or the interference with the duly appointed and acting Trustee”; and sought punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Thereafter, on May 7, 2001, Kip and his wife Sandra filed an application for a temporary guardianship over Kathryn’s estate. That same day, the probate court issued an order approving the guardianship. Meanwhile, on June 29, 2001, Kip filed an application to convert the temporary guardianship of Kathryn’s estate to a permanent guardianship. Appellants never contested the application for a temporary guardianship; however, on July 13, 2001, they contested the application for conversion of the temporary guardianship into a permanent one. On Oct. 5, 2001, the trial court “transferred as an ancillary action to this guardianship action” Kip’s restitution and breach of fiduciary duty claims against appellants. On April 27, 2004, the trial court entered an order purporting to convert the temporary guardianship over Kathryn’s estate into a permanent guardianship. On Sept. 13, 2004, the trial court called the underlying suit to trial, but appellants did not attend. The trial court rendered a final judgment against appellees on Kip’s restitution and breach of fiduciary duty claims and awarded Kip a total of $1,060,799.21 in actual and punitive damages and prejudgment interest. The trial court also modified the trusts to remove appellants as trust beneficiaries. Howard Kirk Gibbs, Candace Gibbs Watson and Kenneth Vernon Gibbs (appellants) appealed the judgment. Appellants contended, inter alia, that the probate court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Kip’s claims. HOLDING:Reversed; judgment rendered dismissing the case. The court held that Kip’s claims for restitution and breach of fiduciary duty did not involve or concern trusts as those terms are used in applicable statutes and, therefore, were not within the statutory probate court’s limited statutory jurisdiction. Accordingly, the court stated that Kip could not rely on former Texas Probate Code ��5(d) and 5A(c)-(d) or Texas Trust Code �115.001 as a basis for the trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction in the case. The court also held that the trial court lacked statutory authority to transfer into the expired temporary guardianship Kip’s claims against appellants and that the court’s Oct. 5, 2001 order purporting to do so was void. Thus, the court stated, Kip cannot rely on the temporary guardianship as a basis for the trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction in this case. Having sustained appellants’ first issue, the court reversed the trial court’s judgment and rendered judgment dismissing the case. OPINION:Cayce, C.J.; Cayce, C.J., and Gardner and Walker, J.J.

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