Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries: June 2014

June 4, 2014

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:

  • Schwartz v. Wellin, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53083 (D. S.C. 2014) Trust Protector Not an Interested Party in Lawsuit.
  • In the Matter of the Estate of Darrell R. Schlicht, 2014 WL 1600914 (N. M. Ct. App. 2014) Under the Uniform Trust Code, a will may revoke a trust if the will substantially complies with a revocation method provided in the terms of the trust.
  • Fulp v. Gilliland, 998 N.E.2d 204 (Ind. 2013) The Indiana Supreme Court holds that a settlor/trustee does not owe a fiduciary duty to remainder beneficiaries of the settlor’s revocable trust.
  • McArthur v. McArthur, 224 Cal.App.4th 651 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 2014) When beneficiary challenged the validity of a trust amendment that included an arbitration provision, the arbitration provision was not enforceable to resolve the beneficiary’s claim.
  • In the Matter of Eleanor Wood Zara, 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1554 (N.Y. Sur. Ct. 2014) The expense of administering a trust valued at $250,000 was not so uneconomical as to warrant early termination.
  • Fintak v. Fintak, 120 So. 3d 177 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. 2013) Florida appellate court holds that a settlor does not need to renounce the benefits of his own irrevocable trust before challenging the validity of the trust.
  • Rollins v. Rollins, 2014 Ga. LEXIS 179 (Ga. Sup. Ct. 2014) The Supreme Court of Georgia held trustees of a trust to a corporate level fiduciary standard (and not trust level fiduciary standard) where the trustees controlled business entities in which the trust owned a minority interest.
  • Salvation Army, Kansas v. Bank of America , 2014 WL 928976 (Mo. Ct. App. 2014) Party lacked standing to contest a will where such party had no pecuniary interest under the contested will and the earlier will, under which it did have an interest, was not timely before the court under Missouri’s presentment statute.
  • Mclean Irrevocable Trust v. Ponder, 418 S.W.3d 482 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013) Missouri Court holds that trust protector is not liable for breach of duty where he failed to remove the trustees who allegedly wasted trust assets.
  • McCormick v. Cox, 118 So. 3d 980 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d. Dist. 2013) The Court of Appeal of Florida affirmed the trial court’s award of more than $5,300,000 to trust beneficiaries where the trustee undervalued a trust asset on federal estate tax return and incurred substantial legal fees and trustees fees to mitigate the effects of the undervaluation.

Click here for case details.