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Disinherited Sefton Son Wins Lawsuit, Will Share in Grandfather's Estate

The California Supreme court has declined to review an appeals court ruling that Thomas W. Sefton Jr., the oldest son of the late San Diego Trust & Savings head Thomas W. Sefton Sr., is entitled to part of his grandfather's estate, reports Metropolitan News-Enterprise. The justices voted 6-0 to leave standing an appeals court decision that had overturned a San Diego Superior Court ruling that Sefton Sr. had the power under his father's will to disinherit any of his children. The junior Sefton's grandfather, Joseph W. Sefton, had left a will in 1955 that had left part of the estate to three grandchildren. But the will of Thomas Sefton Sr. left out Thomas Sefton Jr. Now the appeals court, backed up by the Supreme Court, has said that Tom Jr. gets some of his grandfather's estate.

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The California Supreme court has declined to review an appeals court ruling that Thomas W. Sefton Jr., the oldest son of the late San Diego Trust & Savings head Thomas W. Sefton Sr., is entitled to part of his grandfather's estate, reports Metropolitan News-Enterprise. The justices voted 6-0 to leave standing an appeals court decision that had overturned a San Diego Superior Court ruling that Sefton Sr. had the power under his father's will to disinherit any of his children. The junior Sefton's grandfather, Joseph W. Sefton, had left a will in 1955 that had left part of the estate to three grandchildren. But the will of Thomas Sefton Sr. left out Thomas Sefton Jr. Now the appeals court, backed up by the Supreme Court, has said that Tom Jr. gets some of his grandfather's estate.

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Sefton Sr. was addled in his final years, and could have done just about anything. He supposedly sold San Diego Trust & Savings Bank in the early 90's because his estate was facing a huge estate tax bill upon his passing. It was hard to believe that a guy like him, with a lifetime to plan for taxes and succession, was left that exposed. More likely it was a "take the money and run" strategy, and one that abandoned a long family tradition. Oh, well.

Sept. 6, 2012

Sefton Sr. was fearful that he would lose control of the bank, for reasons I really can't discuss here out of respect for the deceased. He never permitted the bank to issue enough shares; you had to wait in line to get shares of SD Trust. This inhibited the bank's growth. Despite Sefton Sr.'s problems, the bank was a very good one. Its loss was a loss to San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2012

I will always rememebr the SD T&S at the corner of Laurel and 6th Street at the entrance to Balboa Park...now long gone....

Sept. 6, 2012

Yes, the loss of SD Trust was a big blow to San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2012
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