Trustees Beneficiaries

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Decision Establishes New Law Concerning The Rights Of Trustees In Rhode Island

In a case of first impression, the Rhode Island Supreme Court recognized a statutory right for trustees to recover their attorneys’ fees when a trust beneficiary refuses, without any basis, to release the trustee of his or...more

TN COA: Trustee Lacked Authority To Enter Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently held that a trustee’s signature of brokerage account agreement containing a pre-dispute arbitration clause did not bind the trust’s minor beneficiary. The Court held that an “all...more

Multiparticipant Trusts and Conflicting Duties

A recent article in the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal [Volume 50, Number 2, Fall 2015] discussed the phenomena of grantors of trusts "increasingly naming trust protectors, particularly for a trust that may...more

Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Legal Malpractice Case Involving Standing of Beneficiary of Trust

On February 10, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court heard argument in a case that involves the issue of legal standing to sue when a trust is injured by the actions of a third party. In DLA Piper US, LLP v. Linegar, Chris Linegar...more

The "New" New Jersey Uniform Trust Code: Creating Uniformity for Beneficiaries, Trustees and the Professionals that Advise Them

As an estate planning attorney, it is hard to contain my excitement that a version of the Uniform Trust Code (“NJUTC”) was enacted in New Jersey on January 19, 2016 with an effective date of July 17, 2016. With its passage,...more

7 Ways You Can Prepare for Your First Estate Planning Meeting

Somewhere on every grown-up person’s to-do list is an entry that reads something like “tackle estate plan”. You may even find it among your New Year’s resolutions. The prospect of planning your estate with an attorney can be...more

Fiduciaries And Beneficiaries Should Be Aware Of Criminal Statutes

There are several criminal statutes that implicate fiduciary activities in Texas that are not well-known: misappropriation of fiduciary property and financial exploitation of the elderly. Though these may be similar in some...more

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

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

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