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Changing Trustees When The Trust Instrument Lacks A Portability Clause

June 6, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Changing Trustees When The Trust Instrument Lacks A Portability Clause

June 6, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

Today, portability clauses in trust instruments are relatively common and for good reason.  Individuals die and corporate fiduciaries merge, consolidate, acquire, and occasionally close.  Likewise, some jurisdictions are simply more advantageous than others.  But, we know that the inclusion of portability clauses in trust instruments hasn’t always been the norm.  The Uniform Trust Code, however, contemplates situations where it may make sense to change trustees and many states that have not adopted the UTC have also come to the same realization through their own trust codes, statutes, or common law.

While the UTC and various jurisdictions have contemplated a number of situations that may call for a change in trustees absent a provision in the trust instrument permitting a change, in In re McKinney, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania for the first time interpreted that provision in Pennsylvania’s Probate, Estates, and Fiduciaries

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Pennsylvania Court Could Not Assess A Surcharge Against Non-Party Wrongdoer

November 11, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Pennsylvania Court Could Not Assess A Surcharge Against Non-Party Wrongdoer

November 11, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

When individual fiduciaries are found to have breached their fiduciary duties, they are often found to have received some help.  Many times a spouse, lover, or business partner is seen lurking in the wings, aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duty.  From an aggrieved beneficiary’s or successor fiduciary’s perspective, it’s imperative to get that joint-wrongdoer brought into court, where he or she can be held to account for the wrongdoing and – if there’s a recovery to be had – reimburse the estate or trust for damages.  In other words, a person cannot be held to account unless he or she is actually a party to the litigation.

In Estate of Brown, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, decided that the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County exceeded its authority when it imposed a surcharge on Kenneth Pearl, who was not a party

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Estate Planners Get Sued Over Ponzi Scheme Investments

August 22, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Estate Planners Get Sued Over Ponzi Scheme Investments

August 22, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

Keeping with our recent coverage of the intersection between fiduciary litigation and Bernie Madoff and other Ponzi schemes, we again turn to Pennsylvania where last month a prominent Philadelphia couple sued their estate planning attorneys at Duane Morris over money that ended up in the hands of Bernie Madoff.

In Keating v. Duane Morris, Daniel J. Keating III and his wife, Sarah, sued Duane Morris and two of its attorneys for breach of contract, professional liability, and quantum meruit.  According media reports, the Keatings went to Duane Morris for help in crafting an asset protection plan and advice on long-term investment options.  The firm established one trust for the Keatings in 2005 with a trustee, trust protector, investment manager and custodian.  The problems allegedly arose from a second trust established in 2007.

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Is The Law Unforgiving To Ponzi Scheme Victims?

August 19, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Is The Law Unforgiving To Ponzi Scheme Victims?

August 19, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

Alaska (and potentially Pennsylvania) law may be or so says the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  In Michael S. Rulle Family Dynasty Trust v. AGL Life Assurance Company, the federal appellate court – applying Alaska and some Pennsylvania law – summarily dismissed a trust’s suit against a life insurance company for losses sustained through investments in four funds operated by Bernie Madoff.  In fact, the court went so far as to decide that each of the Michael S. Rulle Family Dynasty Trust’s eight claims against AGL Life Assurance Company failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, meaning they couldn’t even get to get into the good stuff through discovery.  Here’s the background:

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