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Not All Uniform Trust Code States Are Created Equal

July 15, 2014

Authors

Luke Lantta

Not All Uniform Trust Code States Are Created Equal

July 15, 2014

by: Luke Lantta

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

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Trust Was Modified, Not Terminated

February 11, 2014

Authors

Luke Lantta

Trust Was Modified, Not Terminated

February 11, 2014

by: Luke Lantta

When a trust instrument sets a time for termination of the trust, it terminates, right?  Well, maybe not.  According to the Kansas Court of Appeals in Lindholm v. Melland (2014 WL 278774) (unpublished), under certain circumstances a trust may continue in existence beyond a termination event.  What happened here to keep the Francis G. Melland Trust going over a decade after it was supposed to terminate?

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Kansas Courts Decline To Exercise Jurisdiction In Trust Litigation

December 19, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Kansas Courts Decline To Exercise Jurisdiction In Trust Litigation

December 19, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

Where can a trustee be sued?  The answer to that question may take into consideration a number of factors, including where the trustee is located, where the trust is administered, and the nature of the claims against the trustee.  These were among the factors considered by the Court of Appeals of Kansas in dismissing trust litigation in Ashford v. Ann K. Fauvor Kansas Trust (2013 WL 6389519).

What seemingly important factor didn’t sway the Kansas appellate court into keeping the case?

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When The General Powers Granted To A Trustee Conflict With A Specific Trust Provision

May 10, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

When The General Powers Granted To A Trustee Conflict With A Specific Trust Provision

May 10, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

Almost invariably, settlors give their trustees broad powers regarding trust property.  Often these broad powers include the power to convey and encumber trust property and the power to loan trust property.  But, sometimes, the settlor also gives the trustee specific instructions with respect to specific trust property.  In Hamel v. Hamel, the Kansas Supreme Court interpreted a trust instrument that gave the trustee broad general powers, but also specific directions regarding a specific piece of real property, and examined the interplay between the two provisions.

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Kansas Executor Loses Real Estate Bequest In Order To Satisfy Liability

September 14, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Kansas Executor Loses Real Estate Bequest In Order To Satisfy Liability

September 14, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

In the event that a corporate fiduciary must repay executor’s fees or trustee’s fees, reimburse an estate or trust the fiduciary’s attorney’s fees, or pay a damages award, it usually has the resources available to make such a payment.  An individual fiduciary, on the other hand, often does not.  An individual fiduciary may bleed the trust or estate dry through litigation and leave nothing behind at its conclusion for the winning party to recover.  Therefore, even if a wronged beneficiary or heir is successful in a lawsuit against an individual fiduciary, the winning party may find him or herself with a piece of paper confirming the victory but not much else.

Fortunately, there are some effective trial techniques available to avoid that scenario – one of which was on display in In re Garibay [2011 WL 3795253 (unpublished)].  On appeal the Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s creative solution to this problem.

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