Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

September 27, 2012

In the most recent installment of the McGuireWoods Fiduciary Advisory Services annual multipart series on recent fiduciary cases, developments in the law concerning various topics are examined through the following:

  • In re Ruby G. Owen Trust (Arkansas)
    Courts refuse to modify trust to create special needs trust.
  • Hawk v. Comm’r (Tax Court)
    Tax court denies summary judgment for marital trusts in transferee liability case.
  • Kesling v. Kesling (Indiana)
    Settlor is the owner of revocable trust’s stock for shareholder agreement purposes.
  • McCann v. McCann (Idaho)
    Corporate squeeze-out is not a derivative claim.
  • Puritas Metal Prods. v. Cook (Ohio)
    Funding of marital trust following death of grantor not a transfer that triggers right of first refusal on corporate stock.
  • Matter of Korn (New York)
    Trustee acted prudently by declining option to purchase interest in family-owned real property.
  • Blankenship v. Wash. Trust Bank (Idaho)
    Beneficiaries of separate trusts lacked standing to challenge loan by trustee out of trust assets.
  • In re: the Trust created by Lydia Butler Dwight (New York)
    Term “lawful issue” in trust created in 1971 does not include child born out of wedlock.
  • In re: the Cecilia Kincaid Gift Trust for George (Montana)
    Child given up for adoption excluded as beneficiary by trust terms.
  • Estate of Emma Boehm, et al. v. Ramos (North Dakota)
    Court applies probate code to construe will and include child given up for adoption as beneficiary.
  • Heath v. Heath (Connecticut)
    Court refuses to interpret “legal representatives” in trust as meaning settlor’s children.
  • Taplin v. Taplin (Florida)
    Appellate court reverses summary judgment for trustees on dismissal under utc shortened limitations period.
  • Taylor, et al. v. Barberino et al. (Connecticut)
    Accounting firm not liable for trustee’s failure to maintain records and account.
  • In re Estate of Pappas (New York)
    Court refuses to approve estate settlement agreement without proof of value of stock surrendered by estate in the deal.
  • Oliveira v. Kiesler et al. (California)
    Jury verdict against attorneys reduced to zero by court-approved settlement with other parties.
  • In Re Berg Trust (Michigan)
    Trustee removed for failing to act to administer and protect trust assets.
  • In re: Estate of Mumma (Pennsylvania)
    Court refuses to remove fiduciary chosen by settlors without proof of breach of duty.
  • Regions Bank v. Kramer, et. al. (Alabama)
    Court refuses to dismiss state securities law claims against trustee.
  • Mayfield, et. al. v. Heiman, et. al. (Georgia)
    Surcharge claims barred by statute of limitations.
  • Gill v. Gill (California)
    Trustee did not breach his duties by hiring his wife to oversee successful renovations to trust property.
  • Principal Life Ins. Co. v. Lawrence Rucker 2007 Insurance Trust (Delaware)
    Court refuses to grant summary stoli summary judgment to insurer where life insurance is sold shortly after issuance and broker provided premium payments.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. American National Ins. Co. (California)
    Court rejects insurer’s claim of lack of insurable interest where policy transferred to third party shortly after being issued.
  • Penn Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Greatbanc Trust Co. (Illinois)
    Where trustee of insurance trust admits lack of insurable interest, court allows trustee to pursue claim for refund of premiums under unjust enrichment theory.
  • In re Estate of Milmet (Michigan)
    Court reverses summary judgment in favor of surviving spouse where she breached agreement to return assets to beneficiaries who disclaimed to avoid taxes.
  • Sefton v. Sefton, et al. (California)
    Validity of exercise of testamentary power of appointment determined under law in effect when grantor of power died and not when power exercised.
  • In the Matter of the Estate of Lois L. Hord (Iowa)
    Assignment of remainder interest in trust violated spendthrift clause and is void.
  • Morey v. Everbank (Florida)
    Trust direction to apply life insurance proceeds to payment of estate obligations is valid.
  • Tindall v. H & S Homes (Georgia)
    Court allows claim against revocable trust for settlor’s torts to proceed.
  • Shaaf v. Fifth Third Bancorp et al. (Indiana)
    Incapacity for guardianship purposes does not deprive settlor of capacity to execute a trust.
  • Rose et al. v. Waldrip (Georgia)
    After-acquired property clause in trust not sufficient to transfer assets into trust.

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