Choice of Law for Administration of Trust

The validity of the appointment of a successor trustee by the beneficiaries of the trust for a trust that was created by California settlors and provided for the interpretation of the trust in accordance with California law was to be determined under the laws of Illinois and not California when the beneficiaries had the power to change the situs of the trust, the beneficiaries had transferred the situs of the trust to Illinois, and the trust was then administered by a trustee in Illinois. The successor trustee who was appointed then administered the trust in Pennsylvania with the consent of the beneficiaries, and a California court ruled that it no longer had jurisdiction over the trust because the principal place of administration was in Pennsylvania, so the administration of the trust was then governed by Pennsylvania law and the attempt by the beneficiaries to remove the successor trustee was invalid under Pennsylvania law. In re: Dille Family Trust, 96 WDA 2022 and 97 WDA 2022 (Pa. Super. 9/19/2023) (non-precedential).

[For an earlier opinion for the same case, upholding sanctions against the beneficiaries for attempting to obtain the consent of a different California court for the distribution of the trust assets, see “Contempt Affirmed over Situs Dispute,” summarizing 853 WDA 2021 (Pa. Super. 9/11/2023) (non-precedential). A later opinion denied the beneficiaries the power to change the situs while the litigation was pending, “Situs of Trust Was Not Effectively Changed by Beneficiaries,” summarizing  26 WDA 2023 (Pa. Super. 5/16/2024) (non-precedential). Another later opinion involving this trust is “Denial of Expanded Intervention Was Abuse of Discretion,” summarizing 1326 WDA 2022 (Pa. Super. 5/16/2024) (non-precedential).]]

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