Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries: March 2012

March 21, 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:

  • Scanlan v. Eisenberg, et al. (Illinois) Seventh Circuit reverses district court decision that discretionary beneficiary lacked standing to bring surcharge claim for $200 million in investment losses from investment concentration.
  • French v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. (Wisconsin) Corporate trustee did not breach its duties by exchanging insurance policies for new policies obtained through its affiliate.
  • In the Matter of the Accounting by Frieda Tydings, As Trustee of the Ricki Singer Grantor Trust (New York) Surcharge of individual trustee for making interest-free loans to family members and giving trust profits to family-owned business in which trustee held an interest.
  • In re: Alexander McFadden Testamentary Trust and George McFadden Testamentary Trust (Pennsylvania) Trustees found not liable for investment losses during market collapse, but removed for withholding distributions, disclosing private information and failing to appoint required third trustee.
  • Carlyle Investment Management LLC et al. v. Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (Delaware) Forum selection clause in an investment management agreement is valid and enforceable.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Estate of Ruth Elaine Mansfield (Nebraska) Trustee did not abuse its discretion by decision to not pay expenses of beneficiary’s final illness where estate assets sufficient.
  • Portico Management Group, LLC v. Harrison (California) Trust assets not subject to arbitration award where award is not against co-trustees.
  • Estate of Campana v. Comerica Bank & Trust, N.A. (West Virginia) Arbitration clause in agreement between investment advisor and trustees bars trust beneficiary’s suit against investment advisor.
  • Smith v. Marez (North Carolina) Attempt to designate IRA benefits to pass pursuant to terms of will is invalid.
  • Klingelhoefer v. Monif, et al. (Nebraska) Nebraska Supreme Court affirms decision that the terms of the trust holding an LLC interest, and not the LLC agreement, control the disposition of farmland held in the LLC
  • Hobbs et al. v. Legg Mason Investment Counsel & Trust Co. (Mississippi) Court refuses to dismiss claim that trustee was negligent in failing to inform beneficiaries about GST taxes owed on trust distributions, but dismissed claims that trustee had a duty to modify the trust to avoid the taxes.

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