Trust BCLP

Trust BCLP

divorce

Main Content

Transferring Property To A Trust: It’s Not What You Meant, It’s What You Said

June 21, 2017

Authors

Luke Lantta

Transferring Property To A Trust: It’s Not What You Meant, It’s What You Said

June 21, 2017

by: Luke Lantta

When we put pen to paper, sometimes the words don’t come out right.  If that happens, hopefully there’s an opportunity to explain what we meant.  Most times that’s true – even in estate planning.  For example, we have seen how scrivenor’s errors can be explained.  But, for the second time in less than a year, Georgia has limited the role evidence of the settlor’s intent plays under Georgia trust law. In Gibson v. Gibson, the Georgia Supreme Court strictly applied a statute governing the transfer of property to a trust to determine that mistitled brokerage accounts were never transferred to two trusts regardless of the settlor’s intent.

In Gibson, the Georgia Supreme Court had to decide a number of issues arising out of a divorce.  One of the multitude of issues on appeal was whether

Read More

Waiver Of Year’s Support Through Post-Nuptial Agreement

May 3, 2017

Authors

Luke Lantta

Waiver Of Year’s Support Through Post-Nuptial Agreement

May 3, 2017

by: Luke Lantta

Divorce should put an early end to the marriage vow of “’til death does us part.” But, when it comes to estate disputes, neither divorce nor death can part the path to the courthouse.  In In re: Estate of Boyd, the husband and wife may have suspected their marriage could end: after 15 years of marriage, they separated, reconciled, and then entered into a post-nuptial agreement.  The agreement provided how assets would be distributed if the parties were married at the time of either’s death and provided for distribution of assets if the parties separated or filed for divorce prior to death.  The latter provision is relevant.

The husband filed for divorce and died hours later.  The wife filed a petition for year’s support in the probate

Read More

House Held In Trust Lost Marital Asset Status

December 22, 2016

Authors

Luke Lantta

House Held In Trust Lost Marital Asset Status

December 22, 2016

by: Luke Lantta

In the afterglow of a wedding, the spouses probably don’t immediately start thinking how the bliss they feel may end spectacularly and expensively.  Chances are they may even start estate planning, thinking how they can seamlessly transfer assets to the other.  In Nelson v. Nelson, a Florida appellate court reminded us that the estate planning choices spouses make, however, have far-reaching consequences if before death they doth part.

Husband and wife bought a house together in California and titled it in both of their names.  They then transferred the home into an irrevocable trust established for the benefit of the wife and her descendants, and named the wife as the sole trustee of the trust.  Husband and wife divorced and a Florida trial court characterized the house as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution.  The Florida appellate

Read More

Federal Courts Don’t Want To Hear Your Domestic Disputes Involving Trusts

October 29, 2015

Authors

Luke Lantta

Federal Courts Don’t Want To Hear Your Domestic Disputes Involving Trusts

October 29, 2015

by: Luke Lantta

There may be good strategic reasons to get a trust litigation case into federal court, especially if you’re the trustee.  But, just because you meet the diversity jurisdiction requirements to get the case into federal court doesn’t mean the federal court will hear the case.  The court may still find that an exception to otherwise perfectly good diversity jurisdiction exists.  While we more regularly see federal courts invoke the probate exception to diversity jurisdiction in fiduciary litigation cases, in McCavey v. McCavey-Barnett (unpublished), a federal appellate court affirmed a Georgia district court’s decision to not hear a trust dispute based on the domestic relations exception to diversity jurisdiction.

The case that the federal court declined to hear involved allegations concerning an inter vivos family trust.  A husband and wife deeded a

Read More

How Much Information About A Trust Must Be Disclosed In A Divorce?

October 1, 2014

Authors

Luke Lantta

How Much Information About A Trust Must Be Disclosed In A Divorce?

October 1, 2014

by: Luke Lantta

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

Post-Will Post-Nuptial Agreement Waived Wife’s Beneficial Rights Under Husband’s Will

November 4, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Post-Will Post-Nuptial Agreement Waived Wife’s Beneficial Rights Under Husband’s Will

November 4, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

It’s not uncommon for couples to divorce and remarry each other or separate and contemplate divorce but stay married.  If a couple does reconcile, they probably want to make sure they review and clean-up any estate planning done during the separation or after the divorce but before the remarriage.

In Steffens v. Evans, a Florida Court of Appeals ruled that a wife waived all of her beneficial rights under her husband’s will by executing a post-nuptial agreement after the husband had executed his will.

Read More

Daughter Forged Power of Attorney And Exercised Undue Influence Over Father

October 28, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Daughter Forged Power of Attorney And Exercised Undue Influence Over Father

October 28, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

We’ll start and end the week here at BryanCaveFiduciaryLitigation.com with powers of attorney.  In order to abuse a power of attorney, there actually has to be one.   In Kubek v. Jones, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama recently determined that a decedent’s daughter forged a power of attorney so she could convert her father’s retirement benefits and life insurance policy to the exclusion of her stepmother.  And, as if the forgery wasn’t enough, she also exercised undue influence over her father.

Read More

Who Has Standing To Challenge The Appointment Of A Guardian

August 29, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Who Has Standing To Challenge The Appointment Of A Guardian

August 29, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

The class of people who can be appointed guardian or who are statutorily required to receive notice of a guardianship proceeding may be the only people who can later challenge the manner in which a guardian was appointed.  Seems pretty intuitive.  But what about a situation where two parties are divorced and one ex-spouse has a guardian appointed to go after the other ex-spouse?  And the ex-spouse getting sued claims that the guardianship proceeding was a fraud just to go after him?  In fact, the ex-spouse claims, his ex isn’t even incapacitated at all.

In Cacioppo v. Emolo, the New Jersey court of appeals was faced with that question: who has standing to challenge the appointment of a guardian?

Read More
The attorneys of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner 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.