Alert regarding Delaware trusts, estates and taxes.

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Three recent Court of Chancery (the “Court”) opinions all involving related trusts, indicate that some of the relief traditionally granted in response to trust consent petitions filed pursuant to Court Rules 100-104 (the “Rules”) may no longer be granted by the Court.

See In Re The Ethel F. Peierls Charitable Lead Unitrust, C.M. No. 16811-N-VCL (December 10, 2012); In Re The Peierls Family Inter Vivos Trusts, Consolidated C.M. No. 16812-N-VCL (December 10, 2012); In Re The Peierls Family Testamentary Trusts, Consolidated C.M. No. 16810-N-VCL (December 11, 2012). These opinions have important consequences for the consent petition process sanctioned by the Rules, as the opinions concern (i) moving a trust to Delaware and making modifications to the governing instrument to take advantage of favorable Delaware law, (ii) asking the Court to accept jurisdiction over a trust, (iii) seeking confirmation that Delaware law governs the administration of a trust after a Delaware trustee is appointed, (iv) transferring the situs of a trust to Delaware, and (v) seeking an order from the Court when the requested relief is expressly allowed under the terms of the trust instrument or applicable law. At this time, the Peierls cases have been appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court.

 

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Trusts, Estates & Tax Delaware Alert (view PDF)