Showing 3 posts in Trusts & Estates.
Chancery Rules That Moving Situs of Trust to Delaware Supports Personal Jurisdiction Under the State’s Long-Arm Statute
Harris v. Harris, C.A. No. 2019-0736-JTL (Del. Ch. Jan. 12, 2023)
Three children filed suit against their mother and her associates, alleging they had seized control of a family-owned corporation and engaged in self-dealing, including via self-serving withdrawals from a family trust. Plaintiffs asserted claims for breaches of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting those breaches, breach of a trust agreement, and tortious interference with the trust agreement. The general counsel of the company moved to dismiss the tortious interference claim against him, including for lack of personal jurisdiction. More ›
Chancery Finds Personal Jurisdiction Under Conspiracy Theory of Jurisdiction Based on Trust Domestication
Harris v. Harris, C.A. No. 2019-0736-JTL (Del. Ch. Jan. 16, 2023)
Under the conspiracy theory of personal jurisdiction, when defendants conspire to engage in tortious activities, the Delaware-directed acts of one co-conspirator can be attributed to the other conspirators for the purpose of establishing personal jurisdiction under Delaware’s Long-Arm Statute. Here, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants acted in concert to support the domestication of a trust (specifically, a GRAT) in Delaware for purposes of a larger tortious scheme. Based on these allegations, the Court of Chancery found there was sufficient support to support personal jurisdiction under the conspiracy theory, or minimally to allow for jurisdictional discovery. But the Court also concluded that the discovery was unnecessary because there was evidence of spoliation, which allowed for a pleadings stage inference that the defendants were engaged in a conspiracy sufficient to support personal jurisdiction.
Chancery Applies Unclean Hands Doctrine to Prevent a Trustee from Rescinding the Decanting of a Trust
In the Matter of: The Niki and Darren Irrevocable Trust and the N and D Delaware Irrevocable Trust, C.A. No. 2019-0302-SG (Del. Ch. Feb. 4, 2021)
Delaware’s decanting statute allows a trustee to “decant” a trust by “pouring” the corpus out into a new modified trust. But, to do so, a trustee must have been able to invade the trust principal under the original trust’s terms, and the second trust’s terms must be substantially the same in its treatment of beneficiaries. More ›