Jenna Rubin reports on the case, Minassian v. Rachins.
In that case, in the midst of litigation in which the trustee of a family trust was being sued for accountings and breach of fiduciary duty, the trustee appointed a “trust protector,” as allowed by the terms of the trust, to modify the trust’s provisions. These modifications were unfavorable to the litigation position of the beneficiaries, and they filed a supplemental complaint to declare the trust protector’s modifications invalid. The trial court found that, because the trust was unambiguous, the trust protector had no authority to change the terms of the trust. The District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida, Fourth Circuit concluded, however, that the trust provisions were ambiguous, that the settlor allowed for the trust protector to act to effectuate his intent, and that the amendment was not invalid. The Court therefore reversed.
Read full post at Rubin on Probate Litigation: Minassian v. Rachins.