February 2017

Posted February 27, 2017

Mennen, et al. v. Wilmington Trust Co., et al. C.A. No. 8432-VCL (February 27, 2017)

       Back on April 24, 2015, Master in Chancery LeGrow (now Superior Court Judge LeGrow) issued her final report in this matter. We wrote about that report at http://www.gfmlaw.com/blog/her-final-report-master-legrow-adopts-ruling-.... In short, then-Master LeGrow found that the court could not pierce the spendthrift clause of the co-defendant trustee’s separate trust notwithstanding the trustee’s repeated wrongdoings.

       In the Delaware Court of Chancery, there is a procedure for Vice Chancellors to review master’s reports if “exceptions” are taken by one or both of the parties. That review occurs de novo. After some procedural back and forth between Chancery and the Supreme Court in the present case, Vice Chancellor Laster issued a February 27, 2017 report completely and wholly adopting the April 24, 2015 final report as written. Vice Chancellor Laster’s report is attached below as a PDF.

Posted February 6, 2017

IMO Kalil Trust and Estate C.A. No. 11047-MZ (January 23, 2017)

Donald J. Kalil (“Petitioner”) claims that James Kalil, Sr. (the “Decedent”) accidentally failed to retitle an account in the name of a 1989 trust, even though Decedent intended to distribute the funds in that account according to a 1997 trust and Decedent’s 1997 will.

The petition seeks to reform the 1997 trust to control the disputed account and also seeks to dissolve a partnership holding real estate in favor of a limited partnership to which Petitioner contends the real estate should have been reassigned long ago.  Acting pro se, James Kalil, Jr. (the “Respondent”) submitted an answer that alleged undue influence, disputed Petitioner’s assertions, and asked the Court to “uphold the 1989 trust.”

Respondent thereafter sought to amend his answer. But Petitioner argued that request was untimely.

In deciding the issue, Master Zurn cited the Court’s traditional lenience for pro se litigants and granted Respondent leave to amend his answer.