Articles Posted in Trusts & Estates

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Christopher Haig and Myrna Murdoch, two beneficiaries of a testamentary trust created under the will of Samuel Damon, objected to the probate court’s approval of the trust’s accounts from 1999 to 2003. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed the probate court’s judgment. Christopher and Myrna separately applied for a writ of certiorari asserting that their due process rights were violated when they were not granted access to documents disclosed to the court-appointed master by the trustees of the trust, which prevented them from making informed objections to the master’s reports regarding the trusts’ accounts during the relevant time period. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the ICA erred in affirming the probate court’s approval and adoption of the master’s report without first granting the beneficiaries’ requests to access trust administration documents, in violation of the requirements of Haw. Rev. Stat. 560:7-303. View "In re Trust Created Under the Will of Samuel M. Damon" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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This case arose from the administration of two irrevocable trusts (together, the trusts) established by Richard and Rachel Ishida. The trusts named as beneficiaries the Ishidas’ daughters Jeri Wilson and Juney Ishida and their granddaughter Kaki Wilson, but the trusts expressly excluded the Ishidas’ third daughter, Deenie Kimora. Six years after they created the trusts the Ishidas requested rescission of both trusts, alleging that they did not intend to make the trusts irrevocable and that Jeri had wrongfully transferred ownership of property from one trust to herself. The probate court ordered the property transferred by Jeri returned to the trust but declined to rescind or reform the trusts. The intermediate court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the probate court did not err in denying the Ishidas’ requested relief because the matter was within the court’s equitable discretion; and (2) the ICA properly found that the probate court was not required to accept at face value the Ishidas’ petitions, which were verified pursuant to Hawai’i Probate Rules Rule 5(a). View "In re Ishida-Waiakamilo Legacy Trust" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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At issue in this case was a nonjudicial foreclosure on real property conducted pursuant to Haw. Rev. Stat. 667-5. The circuit court entered final judgment in favor of the Mounts, the purchasers of the real property through the nonjudicial foreclosure sale, and U.S. Bank National Association. The final judgment was entered against the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The circuit court ruled that a nonjudicial foreclosure conducted pursuant to section 667-5 is exempt from the time limits for presentation of claims against a decedent’s estate and that U.S. Bank did not violate section 667-5(c)(1) by failing to provide former co-personal representative Sesha Lovelace with information she requested regarding the required funds to reinstate the loan (“reinstatement figures”). The Supreme Court vacated the circuit court’s final judgment, holding (1) a nonjudicial foreclosure conducted pursuant to section 667-5 is not exempt from the time limits under Haw. Rev. Stat. 560:3-803 for presentation of claims against a decedent’s estate; and (2) the nonjudicial foreclosure was conducted in violation of section 667-5(c)(1) when U.S. Bank failed to provide Lovelace with loan reinstatement figures, and this failure rendered the nonjudicial foreclosure sale voidable at the Estate’s election unless the Mounts were innocent purchasers for value. Remanded. View "Mount v. Apao" on Justia Law

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This dispute revolved around the administration of two trusts established by now-deceased Thomas H. Gentry. When the beneficiaries and co-trustees disputed how the trust assets should be distributed, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. Petitioner, a beneficiary of both trusts, filed a petition to enforce settlement agreement and appoint receiver. The probate court denied Petitioner’s petition to enforce (enforcement judgment) and granted in part and denied in part the co-trustees’ petition for instructions regarding the distribution of the assets (distribution judgment). Petitioner appealed from the enforcement judgment, arguing that the probate court ignored the settlement agreement in refusing to grant her petition to enforce. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) concluded that because Petitioner had failed to directly appeal the distribution judgment, Petitioner’s appeal of the enforcement judgment constituted a collateral attack on the distribution judgment. Because it was unable to grant Petitioner effective relief, the ICA dismissed her appeal as moot. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment, holding that the ICA erred in concluding that Petitioner’s appeal was an impermissible collateral attack and that Petitioner’s appeal was moot. Remanded. View "In re Thomas H. Gentry Revocable Trust" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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Plaintiffs filed this action against the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) trustees, claiming that the OHA trustees breached their fiduciary duties by improperly expending trust funds on Hawaiians, as opposed to native Hawaiians, in violation of Hawaii law and the Hawaii Constitution. The circuit court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff's complaint because it failed to state a claim; and (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying Plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint. View "Kealoha v. Machado" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The instant action arose from an ejectment proceeding involving a dispute as to whether Respondent Wayne Peelua alleged a cognizable claim to the title of certain real property. Petitioner Deutsche Bank filed a complaint alleging that it was entitled to possession of the property. Respondent moved to dismiss the complaint, alleging that the district court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The court held for Petitioner. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacated the district court order and remanded with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA and affirmed the district court, holding that Respondent's affidavit did not meet the requirements of Dist. Ct. R. Civ. P. 12.1, and therefore, the district court had jurisdiction over Petitioner's ejectment action. View "Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co. v. Peelua" on Justia Law