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
Defenses and Limitations
- Beck, et al. v. Mueller, 2014 Wisc. App.
LEXIS 377 (Ct. App. Wisc., May 8, 2014)
The statute of limitations barred beneficiaries’ claims where each
beneficiary had previously received a copy of the trust agreement long
before the trusts should have terminated and their claims were not filed
until well after the trust termination should have occurred.
- Davis v. Rael, No. B244897, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3914
(Cal. Ct. App. 2014)
Appellate court reversed trial court’s surcharge of the trustee in excess of
$1,200,000, where the statute of limitations barred the claim even though
beneficiary claimed he had not received a copy of the trustee’s accounting.
- In re Demesyeux, 978 N.Y.S.2d 608 (Nassau County Ct. 2013)
A mother who pled not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder
was disqualified from sharing in the wrongful death proceeds arising from
her children’s deaths.
Resignation and Removal of Trustees
- Spencer v. Di Cola, 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 289 (App. Ct. Ill., May
An individual trustee was entitled to summary judgment where the trust
beneficiaries effectively sought to replace the trustee with a corporate
trustee without cause for removal or the authority to replace the trustee
under the terms of the trust.
Administration and Compensation
- Weinstein v. Weinstein (In re Indenture Trust Dated January 13, 1964),
326 P.3d 307 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2014)
Beneficiary of a spendthrift trust cannot voluntarily assign his interest or
ratify the assignment.
- Gray v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 28 N.J. Tax 28 (N.J. Tax Ct.
Transfers to trusts made more than three years before the grantor’s death
were not deemed transfers in contemplation of death.
- Prestidge v. Dep’t of Revenue, 2014 Ore. Tax LEXIS 75 (Or. T.C.
Decedent’s beneficial interest in trust creates sufficient nexus in his
state of residence for state inheritance tax to apply.
- Greenberg v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS
2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014)
Evidence of trustee’s failure to reallocate assets in light of economic
downturn sufficient to plead a case of breach of fiduciary duty.
- Abbot v. Brennemann (In re Brennemann Testamentary Trust), 288
Neb. 389 (June 27, 2014)
Trustees found not liable for breach of duty to inform and report where the
breach was harmless.
- In re Robert Stout Revocable Trust, No. 313063 2014 WL 265553,
2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 137 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 23, 2014)
Trustee breached fiduciary duties by failing to notify beneficiaries of
change of trustee compensation and by requiring the beneficiaries to sign a
release as a condition of receiving a trust distribution.
- Wehle v. Bradley, 2014 WL 982973, 2014 Ala. LEXIS
37 (Ala. March 14, 2014)
Executor’s total fee of almost five percent (5%) was reasonable but
prepayment of executor fees without court approval was improper and the
executors were required to pay interest on the fees from the date of
- Ferri v. Powell-Ferri, 2014 WL 3397927 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2014)
Creation, Funding and Construction
- Lidstrom v. Wilson-Blanc, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3085 (Cal.
App. 2d Dist. Apr. 30, 2014)
California’s Court of Appeals interpreted survivorship provision and found
that estate of deceased beneficiary was entitled to distribution from trust
where he was living at the grantor’s death.
Amendment, Modification and Termination
- Mendoza v. Luquin, 2014 WL 1619161 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Apr. 23,
California Court of Appeals finds that an instrument intended to be a trust
may validly revoke an earlier trust instrument even if the instrument fails
to meet the technical requirements for an enforceable trust.
Jurisdiction and Standing
- Cartwright v. Garner, 751 F.3d 752 (6th Cir. 2014)
Princess Lida doctrine applied to alleged tort claims for fraud,
mismanagement and conversion.
- Thea v. Kleinhandler, No. 13 Civ. 4895, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
67583 (S.D.N.Y. May 13, 2014)
An estate’s administrator or executor is a necessary party to any action to
enforce a contract to make a will.
- Moore v. Chase, No. 14-CV-2119, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82778 (D.
Kan. June 17, 2014)
The “probate exception” does not preclude a federal court from asserting
jurisdiction over trust assets, which are separate from the probate estate.
- Kazeminy v. Kazeminy, A12-1701, 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 428
(May 5, 2014)
A court can enjoin a probate court from conducting parallel proceedings to
ongoing litigation where the parties are substantially similar, the issues
are similar and the first action can dispose of the action to be enjoined.
Download our report for more details >>