McGuire Woods has made available for download its July 2015 white paper summarizing several recent fiduciary court cases.  The Abstract of cases summarized is as follows:


  • In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014). A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release was executed.
  • Aagard. v. Jorgensen (In re Anna Blackham Aagard Trust), 2014 UT App 269 (Utah Ct. App. 2014). The trustee of a trust that owns an interest in a family limited liability company did not have a conflict of interest merely because he also owned an interest in the company individually.
  • Mennen v. Wilmington Trust Co., George Mennen and Owen Roberts as Trustees, C.A. No. 8432-ML, Master LeGrow (Del. Ch. Dec. 8, 2014)(Master’s Final Report). A trust beneficiary could not bind minor children where conflict of interest existed, rendering the trustee’s statute-of-limitations defense ineffective.
  • Jimenez v. Corr, 764 S.E.2d 115 (Va. 2014). The transfer of shares of closely held stock from a decedent’s estate to the decedent’s revocable trust agreement pursuant to her pour-over will triggered the company’s obligation to purchase the shares under the shareholders’ agreement, despite the terms of the decedent’s revocable trust that provided for the shares to be distributed to permissible transferees as allowed under the shareholders’ agreement.
  • In re Estate of Boyle, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 13553 (Ct. App. Texas, December 18, 2014).
  • Souder v. Malone, 143 So. 3d 486 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014). Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal weighed in on a split amongst the intermediate courts of appeals in the state and held that “where a personal representative has failed to serve a copy of the notice to creditors on a known or reasonably ascertainable creditor, that creditor’s remedy is to petition the probate court for an extension of time.”
  • In re Speyer Trust, et al., 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4870 (Sup. Ct. NY, November 13, 2014).
  • Larkin v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. A13-1839, 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1077 (Minn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2014). A beneficiary’s failure to abide by terms of a settlement agreement may result in the award of attorneys’ fees.
  • Pinnacle Trust Co., L.L.C. v. McTaggart, 152 So.3d 1123 (Miss. Dec. 4, 2014). An arbitration provision contained within a wealth-management agreement between the trustee and trust advisor does not bind trust beneficiaries.
  • Parker v. Benoist, 2014 Miss. LEXIS 431 (Miss. Aug. 28, 2014). Mississippi recognizes a good faith and probable cause exception to a forfeiture clause in a will, because to hold otherwise would be unconstitutional and against public policy.
  • Lee Graham Shopping Ctr., LLC v. Estate of Kirsch, 777 F.3d 678 (4th Cir. Va. 2015). Federal court could interpret terms of a partnership agreement and trust, which fell outside of the probate exception to diversity jurisdiction. Further, terms of a limited partnership agreement prohibited the transfer of an interest to a non-family member.
  • Foiles v. Foiles, 2014 COA 104 (Colo. Ct. App. 2014). A co-trustee may not ratify another trustee’s actions that are otherwise invalid under the terms of the trust instrument; consent to those actions is required from all the trust beneficiaries.
  • United States v. Reitano (In re Estate of Reitano), 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123200 (D. Mass. 2014). The fiduciary of an estate may be personally liable for distributing the assets of the estate without first paying unpaid tax liabilities of a decedent.
  • Minassian v. Rachins, 152 So.3d 719 (Fl. Dist. Ct. App. 2014). Florida law permits the appointment of a trust protector to modify the terms of a trust.

Download full report with detailed summaries;

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.