Articles Posted in Estate Planning

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At issue in this case was a trust (“the Raiff Trust”) that had expired under the terms of the trust instrument that established the trust. The trust was funded with shares of Jenzabar, Inc. At the time of this litigation, the Raiff Trust continued to hold shares of Jenzabar stock on behalf of its beneficiary. Plaintiff, trustee of a trust holding stock in Jenzabar, brought derivative claims related to a bonus payment for Jenzabar’s CEO and Chairman. The Raiff Trust moved to intervene in the litigation. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the trust lacked the capacity to prosecute this action on behalf of Jenzabar because it had no beneficial or economic interest in Jenzabar. The Court of Chancery granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that the trust could take only actions related to preserving its assets for purposes of distribution and wind-up, together with those actions for which the trust instrument specifically provided, which did not include the maintenance of the derivative litigation contemplated in this action.View "In re Jenzabar, Inc. Derivative Litigation" on Justia Law

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The City of Quincy (Quincy) served as trustee of the Adams Temple and School Fund and the Charles Francis Adams Fund (together, the Funds) through two boards. The Woodward School for Girls, Inc. (Woodward) has been the sole income beneficiary of the Funds since 1953. In 2007, Woodward filed suit against Quincy seeking an accounting and asserting that Quincy committed a breach of its fiduciary duties in several respects. A probate and family court judge concluded that Quincy committed a breach of its fiduciary duties by failing to invest in growth securities and failing to heed certain investment advice, removed Quincy as trustee, and ordered Quincy to pay a nearly $3 million judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment as to liability, reversed with respect to the calculation of damages on the unrealized gains, and remanded, holding (1) Woodward’s claims were not barred on the grounds of sovereign immunity, the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, or laches; (2) the judgment against Quincy for committing a breach of its fiduciary duties to the Funds was proper; (3) the award of damages was erroneous in the calculation of unrealized gains on the investment portfolio; and (4) the judge did not err in including prejudgment interest. View "Woodward School for Girls, Inc. v. City of Quincy" on Justia Law