Trusts often lurk in the background of divorces. Sometimes they take center stage. But trusts can cast a wide net, and the trust instrument and financial details concerning the trust may reveal private financial information about persons other than the divorcing spouses. Why should a likely aggrieved and antagonistic soon-to-be ex-spouse get the whole thing? If challenged, they probably shouldn’t. That’s what a California appellate court decided in In re Marriage of Williamson.
The husband was blessed by birth to be born into a wealthy family. Consequently, he was a beneficiary of a trust that was, in turn, one of a dozen and a half sub-trusts under another trust. He received annual income from the one trust, but was not a beneficiary of any other trust or sub-trust. The wife served subpoenas requesting documents from the various family trusts.Read More