Trust BCLP

Trust BCLP

ARCHIVE

Main Content

Multiple Simultaneous Suits Over The Same Trust?

July 31, 2014

Authored by:

Categories

Enterprising fiduciary litigation plaintiffs’ lawyers will often look to open up multiple fronts in litigation – a suit in state court, a claim in probate court, and a federal court lawsuit.  But, if the defense is paying attention, this strategy seldom works in trust litigation.  Why?  Because of the Princess Lida doctrine.  The Princess Lida doctrine is also known as the doctrine of prior exclusive jurisdiction.  If a lawsuit is in rem or quasi in rem, which means that a court must have possession of or some control over the property in order to grant the relief sought, then the first court to exercise jurisdiction over the case gets jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.  Since many trust cases require a court to exercise jurisdiction over the corpus of the trust, that means that the first court to get a case involving the trust gets that case to the

Georgia Probate Court Could Trump Parties’ Selection Of Guardian

July 29, 2014

Authored by:

Categories

Guardianship litigation can be painful and divisive, so you might think that a probate court would rejoice when the parties reach a settlement.  But, as the Georgia Court of Appeals explained in In re: Estate of James Irwin Kaufmann (link via FindLaw), the parties’ agreement cannot force a probate court to abdicate its statutory duties when it comes to appointment of a guardian.

A probate court made an emergency appointment of James Kaufmann’s adult son, Rocco, as guardian and conservator of Kaufmann.  Later, the probate court appointed Rocco as Kaufmann’s guardian, but appointed Jerry L. Landers, Jr. as Kaufmann’s conservator.  Kaufmann then filed a petition for restoration of an individual formerly found in need of a guardian and/or conservator in which Kaufmann requested a restoration of his rights or, in the alternative, appointment of a new guardian and new conservator.  The parties mediated the matter

Not All Uniform Trust Code States Are Created Equal

July 15, 2014

Authored by:

Categories

Even if a state has ‘adopted’ the Uniform Trust Code, you still need to compare the actual UTC language against the language in that state’s ‘uniform’ trust code – including definitions.  The United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Kastner v. Intrust Bank draws our attention to how Kansas – a UTC state – has departed from the UTC’s definition of “qualified beneficiary,” which had major consequences for a beneficiary of a trust.

Jessie I. Brooks executed a revocable trust that provided distributions would be made to Ms. Brooks during her lifetime and, upon her death, continued for the benefit of her daughter, Nola Mae Wills.  The trust also provided that the remainder of the trust’s assets, if any, would be distributed to Ms. Brooks’ grandson, Kristofer Thomas Kastner, upon the death of his mother, Ms. Wills.  Although Ms. Brooks died, Ms.

Proponents of Estate Tax Still Estate Plan

Proponents of Estate Tax Still Estate Plan

July 14, 2014

Authored by: Stacie J. Rottenstreich and Karin Barkhorn

ClintonSenateWhile constant attention is being given to Hillary Clinton’s potential decision to run for the presidency in 2016 and the release of her latest book, Hard Choices, last month, news sources recently reported that she and former President Bill Clinton have taken advantage of several of the estate planning techniques recommended by trusts and estates attorneys for high net worth individuals.

This is interesting, in part, because the Clintons support the estate tax and have not been in support of its repeal.

According to reported sources, each of the Clintons created a qualified personal residence trust and each contributed his or her 50% ownership interest in their Chappaqua, New York house to his or her respective trust. A qualified personal residence trust, commonly called by its acronym QPRT, is an IRS sanctioned

Life (and Litigation) Lesson of the Day: Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You

July 10, 2014

Authored by:

Categories

Apparently, this life lesson was not learned, or if learned, was forgotten, by Roy Greenbaum, the Personal Representative in Estate of Tanenblatt v. Comm’r.  The issue in this case concerned the valuation of a 16.667% interest in an LLC included in the Diane Tanenblatt’s gross estate.

The PR initially reported the value of the LLC interest at $1,788,000, based upon an initial appraisal, which was attached to the estate tax return.  The initial appraisal applied 20% and 35% discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability.  The IRS accepted the pre-discount initial appraisal value for the LLC, but allowed only 10% and 20% discounts and assessed a deficiency of $309,457.

The PR then obtained a second appraisal and attached the second appraisal to his Tax Court petition challenging the deficiency, alleging a new, lower value for the LLC interest of $1,037,796 and seeking a refund.

Prior to trial, the

Planning with POLST

Planning with POLST

July 9, 2014

Authored by: Anne Jump and Doug Stanley

465435421POLST, or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, is an approach to end-of-life care that encourages discussions between patients and their health care providers. The goal of POLST is to enable patients to choose the treatment they want or do not want, and to ensure that those preferences are honored.

Holding Power Of Attorney Doesn’t Prohibit All Gifts From Principal To Agent

July 8, 2014

Authored by:

Categories

We’ve previously noted that, as the population ages, power of attorney litigation has become a ‘hot’ area of fiduciary litigation.  Transfers of property from a principal to her agent get looked at closely and often – and sometimes justifiably – with suspicion.  And, if the holder of a power of attorney transfers property to herself using the power of attorney, if anyone catches it, then litigation is all but assured.  But, this doesn’t mean that a principal is forever barred from ever giving money or property to her agent.  The principal’s agent is, for example, often the principal’s child.  Certainly, absent incapacity, undue influence, fraud or other similar issues, a parent should be able to freely give property to her child without the oversight of a court.

In Shaffer v. Kaplan,

Life (and Litigation) Lesson of the Day: Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You

462913017Apparently, this life lesson was not learned, or if learned, was forgotten, by Roy Greenbaum, the Personal Representative in Estate of Tanenblatt v. Comm’r. The issue in this case concerned the valuation of a 16.667% interest in an LLC included in the Diane Tanenblatt’s gross estate.

The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.