Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Trial Court’s Ruling Dismissing Petition as Untimely-Filed Based on Notice Given Under Delaware’s Pre-Mortem Validation Statute

Delaware Fiduciary Litigation Blog

Posted February 12, 2015

On February 12, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court, by way of the two-paragraph order attached below, affirmed the Delaware Court of Chancery’s June 2014 ruling dismissing a petitioner’s case as untimely based on notice given under Delaware’s pre-mortem validation statute. Delaware’s Pre-Mortem Validation Statute allows settlors to provide notice of a trust to all interested parties and if the noticed parties do not contest the trust within 120 days of notice, they are barred from ever contesting it. According to the Pre-Mortem Validation Statute, notice is given when notice is received by the interested party and that, absent evidence to the contrary, it is presumed that the interested party received notice if that notice is delivered to that person’s last known address.

The trial court’s ruling was significant because it was the first Delaware ruling—and perhaps even the first nationally—that dismissed a case based on notice pursuant to a pre-mortem validation statute. That the dismissal was affirmed by Delaware’s highest court is also quite notable.

To read our blog post on the trial court’s ruling and the reasons supporting its finding, go to

Note: This law firm represents the co-trustees in this case


William M. Kelleher, Director
Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.