Beneficiaries Trustees

News & Analysis as of

Court Held That A Beneficiary Could Not Usurp A Trustee’s Right To Direct Litigation And Did Not Have Standing To Sue The Trustee...

In In re XTO Energy Inc., a beneficiary, on behalf of the trust, sued an oil and gas operator for allegedly not paying sufficient funds to the trust and also sued the trustee for refusing to bring that claim. No....more

The Bank of America Case: May Massachusetts Tax the Trust Fund Income of Non-Resident Families with Unborn and/or Unascertained...

Background - Before addressing the Bank of America case, it is necessary to understand the Massachusetts taxation of trustees and their beneficiaries, which is described in 830 CMR 62.20.1: Income Tax on Estates and...more

Navigating Derivative Lawsuits Against Mutual Funds After Northstar

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this spring held that mutual fund shareholders could maintain direct claims against the fund’s trustees for breach of their common law fiduciary duties. Before Northstar v. Schwab, such...more

The Case of the Vanishing Guaranty—Issues Facing Commercial Real Property Lenders Regarding Revocable Trust Borrowers

I have recently received numerous questions from commercial lender clients regarding structuring and enforcing commercial real property loans involving revocable trusts. Their concerns have largely centered on how to...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 9/3/15

Massachusetts courts have issued decisions on several topics of interest, including whether a revocable spendthrift trust may properly be included in a marital estate, what happens to assets left to a named beneficiary who...more

CFPB’s Office of Older Americans Releases Virginia Guides Designed for Financial Caregivers

On August 17, the CFPB released Virginia state-specific Managing Someone Else’s Money guides, which are designed to make it easier for financial caregivers to follow the state’s unique fiduciary laws and procedures. According...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Trustee Duties are Not for the Faint of Heart

One of the most important and farthest-reaching decisions involved in the creation of a trust is the naming of a trustee. It may seem simple enough at the outset to choose either oneself or a family member in place of a...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds No Duty to Defend Directors Serving in Mixed Capacities

On June 22, 2015, the 11th Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal court decision that there was no coverage under a director’s and officer’s (D&O) insurance policy for claims asserted by beneficiaries of a family trust against a...more

A trust is not an agency

The trustee is not an agent of the beneficiary. The trustee's duty not to delegate the administration of the trust could well be implicated if the trustee without authority were to behave as if he were the beneficiary's...more

Trustees Beware: Which Fiduciary Standard Applies to Your “Business Judgments”?

To what legal standard must a trustee adhere when he or she also participates in the control of a family or closely held business? Courts continue to grapple with this question. The high courts in both Georgia and Nebraska...more

The Evolving Duty of Trustee Communication with Beneficiaries

Trustee communications with beneficiaries have followed an interesting legal path in Kentucky. The original Kentucky statute regarding communication with the beneficiaries required that the trustee must keep the beneficiaries...more

The Trustee's Power to Loan

Trust agreements often give trustees the power to make loans. When and how to exercise the power should be given significant thought. Upholding the fiduciary duty owed to all beneficiaries is always a key concern. ...more

Beneficiaries Lack Standing to Challenge Trustee's Actions in Bankruptcy Court

In a recent ruling on In re Land Securities Investors, Ltd., the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado ruled that trust beneficiaries do not have standing to appear in a bankruptcy case even when the...more

Trustee Selection: Choose Wisely if Your Family-owned Business Will Be Held in a Trust

Let’s assume that you and your spouse are the sole owners of a very successful business. You have established an estate plan with trusts in place to utilize the estate tax exemptions of both spouses for Washington state and...more

Laches as a Limit on the Duty of a Trustee to Account

Doris Corya was a trustee (or co-trustee) of four trusts that failed to provide fiduciary accountings to a beneficiary otherwise entitled to receive accountings under Florida law. The failure to account went back many years –...more

Amendments to Virtual Representation Statute Take Effect on January 1, 2015

There is increasing interest among trustees and beneficiaries to resolve disputes and modify trust documents without going to court. For many years, the primary mechanism to accomplish that in Illinois has been the Virtual...more

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. It is a common misconception that only the very wealthy need estate plans. This may explain why 55% of Americans do not have estate plans. However, the truth is...more

The fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege: A recent development

In a suit by the beneficiary against the trustee, is the trustee entitled to assert the attorney-client privilege against the beneficiary, or is there a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege? As to...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter – August 2014 #2

In Lowell v. Talcott et al., Case No. 13-p-1053, 2014 Mass. App. LEXIS 98 (August 18, 2014), the Appeals Court considered whether a child born in the 1960s while her mother was married to a man who is not the child’s father...more

Choosing a Trustee for a Special Needs Trust

Choosing a trustee is one of the most important and difficult issues in creating a special needs trust (SNT). Trustees must have the necessary expertise to manage the trust, including making proper investments, paying bills,...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...more

How the New Washington Trust Act and its 2013 Amendments Affect You and Your Clients - December 2013

In 2011, the legislature adopted a new Washington Trust Act (the “2011 Act”). The 2011 Act took effect on January 1, 2012, and codified many changes to the duties of trustees and the rights of trust beneficiaries. Within 18...more

Wealth Management Update - December 2013

The December § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and GRATs is 2.0%, which is unchanged from last month. The December applicable federal rate ("AFR") for use with a sale to a defective...more

Now, How Do I Decant a Trust?

Decanting has been Texas law for almost three months and several articles have discussed what can be accomplished by decanting (e.g., Bill Pargaman’s 2013 Legislative Update). This article will discuss the documents needed...more

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