Vice Chancellor Parsons Adopts Master LeGrow's Final Report, which held that as Long as There is a Will Contest in Texas, the Delaware Trustee May Not Distribute the Assets of the Trust

Delaware Fiduciary Litigation Blog

Posted March 4, 2015

IMO the Trust Under the Will of Elizabeth Williams Vale for the Benefit of Frederic B. Asche, Jr. C.A. No. 7662-VCP (February 19, 2015)

On February 15, 2015, Vice Chancellor Parsons reached the same conclusions as did Master LeGrow when she determined that a Texas probate court’s initial order was not final and deserving of full faith and credit.

A will contest followed a Texas probate court’s order empowering the executrix to gather the estate’s assets. The Delaware Trustee received directions from the executrix to make a distribution. And so, the Trustee sought instructions from the Court of Chancery, which ultimately found that if it were to authorize the Trustee to make distributions while the will contest was ongoing, the Court would be trespassing on the function of the Texas courts. And because the probate court’s initial order was not final, the will contestants’ position in this litigation did not amount to a collateral attack on the Texas order.

For those reasons, the Vice Chancellor Parsons directed the Trustee to hold and invest the Trust assets until after a final judgment, as to which all rights of appeal have been exhausted, exists in the Texas will contest.

To read our blog post on the Master’s Report and the reasoning behind her findings, go to:

Note: This law firm represents the will contestants in this case


Neil R. Lapinski
Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.