Trust BCLP

Trust BCLP

trust interpretation

Main Content

Wisconsin Appellate Court Considers Distribution Value Of Trust Assets

February 18, 2014

Authors

Luke Lantta

Wisconsin Appellate Court Considers Distribution Value Of Trust Assets

February 18, 2014

by: Luke Lantta

In In re Alice J. Welch Revocable Living Trust (Vandenbrook v. Welch), a Wisconsin appellate court was required to interpret a provision in a trust instrument on how trust assets would be valued for purposes of distribution.  The trust instrument provided different distribution schemes, depending on whether a certain value exceeded $5 million.  So, the first question for the court was whether the value of these assets exceeded $5 million.  Let’s take a look at the differing interpretations and why trust language can’t be read in isolation.

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

Missouri Court Narrowly Construes Ability of Trust Settlor to Create Conditional Trust Amendment

August 22, 2013

Authors

Steve Dawson

Missouri Court Narrowly Construes Ability of Trust Settlor to Create Conditional Trust Amendment

August 22, 2013

by: Steve Dawson

An upcoming vacation, particularly one that involves flying, often encourages individuals to revisit their existing estate planning—or perhaps even to put a new estate plan into place—to ensure that their estate will be disposed of as they wish if they do not return safely.  The worst case scenario people worry about rarely happens.  People return home, carry on with their lives, and their updated estate planning documents continue to be operative.  Yet there is a long history of cases in Missouri (going back to at least 1872) dealing with “conditional” wills and trusts.  A conditional will or trust is one that states that the document has no effect unless a specified condition, such as the failure to return safely from a trip, occurs.

In the most recent case addressing a conditional trust, Rouner v. Wise, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the

Read More

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.

Read More

Former N.H. Trust Beneficiaries Not Entitled To Jury Trial

May 31, 2012

Authors

Luke Lantta

Former N.H. Trust Beneficiaries Not Entitled To Jury Trial

May 31, 2012

by: Luke Lantta

Probate court jurisdiction seems to give practitioners fits (see here and here).  The limited or specialized jurisdiction of probate courts certainly spills over into trust disputes.  In some jurisdictions, this can have far-reaching implications, such as whether a party has a right to a jury trial.

For example, in DiGaetano v. DiGaetano, the New Hampshire Supreme Court determined that several former trust beneficiaries appealing the judgment of a probate court were not entitled to a jury trial in superior court on their appeal.  It all came down to the nature of the relief sought and the jurisdiction of the original court in which the action was brought.

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.