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Trust Litigation Archives

Trust Assets: Up for Grabs?

What happens when a party in an estate dispute attempts to transfer assets from a trust they once established for family members? That's the current dilemma of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, whose $1.9 billion business empire is up for grabs after he froze his daughter, Renee Benson, as well as his grandchildren out of ownership of major enterprises after his death.

When Trusts Go Empty

What happens when, upon a parent's death, the trust you've been counting on comes up empty, leaving you zilch? Such is the situation in which the children of Pennsylvania billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife have found themselves. Jennie and David Scaife are now set for a court battle to find out where that money went and whether they can successfully challenge the remainder of their father's vast estate for the purposes of recovery.

What is a Trust?

A trust is when one person (trustee) holds title to property for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary). A person called the settlor (or trustor) creates the trust and puts the property in the trust. The settlor, trustee, and beneficiary can be different people. But, one single person could be the settlor, trustee and beneficiary. For example, one person may create a trust and put property in it, make himself the trustee, and use the property for his own benefit. In that case he would be the settlor, trustee, and beneficiary all at the same time. Source: Alameda County Probate Court

What Duties do Trustees Owe Beneficiaries?

Probate Code Section 16060. The trustee has a duty to keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the trust and its administration. The trustee's duties include the administration of the trust with skill, care and caution, solely in the interests of the beneficiaries.

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