Trust BCLP

Trust BCLP

Mississippi

Main Content

How Far Can A Grantor Go In Eliminating The Duty To Account?

December 1, 2016

Authors

Luke Lantta

How Far Can A Grantor Go In Eliminating The Duty To Account?

December 1, 2016

by: Luke Lantta

Trusts are often used to transfer wealth privately without the messiness of a public estate administration.  That financial privacy can get blown, however, when trusts become the subjects of very public litigation.  In open court and in publicly available filings, dollar figures, assets, and dirty laundry can get thrown about for anyone to see.  This is especially true in trust accounting actions, which dig into the financials: income, expenses, assets, investment performance, and so on.  In Estate of Fuller, however, the Court of Appeals of Mississippi indicated that a grantor may be able to shroud a trust in greater secrecy through restrictive language in the trust instrument.

The trust at issue was a private trust that provided that the trustee would not “be required to account to any

Read More

Filing Trust Modification As Public Record Started Statute Of Limitations

December 23, 2015

Authors

Luke Lantta

Filing Trust Modification As Public Record Started Statute Of Limitations

December 23, 2015

by: Luke Lantta

Fiduciaries should always be thinking of ways to get the statute of limitations started.  Why have a claim hanging over your head for many years, when you can take actions that shorten the time in which a claim may be brought against you?  Typically, we think of getting that time running in terms of sending regular account statements to the trust beneficiaries.  In Domino v. Braswell, the Court of Appeals of Mississippi got us thinking about another way to start the clock running:  by publicly recording documents.

A grantor, the trustees, and the beneficiaries of a trust modified the trust to correct a clerical error.  The trust modification was filed as a public record in 1997.  After the grantor died, in 2013, a complaint was

Read More

Mississippi Adopts Good Faith And Probable Cause Exception

November 5, 2014

Authors

Luke Lantta

Mississippi Adopts Good Faith And Probable Cause Exception

November 5, 2014

by: Luke Lantta

Forfeitures are disfavored in law.  So it may come as little surprise that, in Parker v. Benoist, the Supreme Court of Mississippi determined that Mississippi law should recognize a good faith and probable cause exception to a forfeiture in terrorem clause in a will.  The in terrorem clause in the will at issue in this case contained an increasingly common provision that purported to bar even good faith challenges to the will based on probable cause:

If any beneficiary hereunder (including, but not limited to, any beneficiary of a trust created herein) shall contest the probate or validity of this Will or any provision thereof, or shall institute or join in (except as a party defendant) any proceeding to contest the validity of this Will or to prevent any provision thereof from being carried out in accordance with its

Read More

Termination Clause In Trust Was Not Triggered

October 15, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Termination Clause In Trust Was Not Triggered

October 15, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

What if all the termination events in a testamentary trust occured before the testator dies?  In Whitehead v. Whitehead, a Mississippi appellate court suggested that we still have to read the documents constructing the testamentary scheme together to effectuate the intent of the testator.

What did John J. Whitehead, Jr.’s will and codicils show when read together?

Read More

Trustee Must Arbitrate Claims Against Financial Advisor

October 1, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Trustee Must Arbitrate Claims Against Financial Advisor

October 1, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

We have previously looked at instances where trustees have sought to compel arbitration of claims brought against them.  Today, we take a look at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC v. Pritchard, a case from Mississippi where a marital trust brought negligent management and conversion claims against its financial services firm and financial advisor.  There was, of course, a client agreement containing an arbitration clause.  The interesting wrinkle was that the incidents giving rise to the complaint arose before the arbitration agreement was signed.  Was this retroactive application of an arbitration clause enforceable?

Read More

Language In Holographic Will Conveyed Property In Fee Simple – It Did Not Create A Condition Precedent Or A Testamentary Trust

January 5, 2012

Authors

Luke Lantta

Language In Holographic Will Conveyed Property In Fee Simple – It Did Not Create A Condition Precedent Or A Testamentary Trust

January 5, 2012

by: Luke Lantta

There isn’t some magic language necessary to create a trust.  Generally, all you need is an expressed intent to create a trust and some property.  Sure, trust codes and common law  require a trustee, trustee duties, and adherence to the rule against perpetuities, but you get the idea.  Nevertheless, there is always a surprising amount of litigation over whether certain language in a will or other document creates a trust.

In Estate of Brill, the Mississippi Supreme Court was tasked with construing some language in a holographic will to determine what, exactly, the testator meant by the language.  The question was whether the language conveyed property in fee simple, created a condition precedent or created a testamentary trust.

Let’s take a look at the contents of Bobbye N. Brill’s holographic will.

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.