Appeal of Emergency Trust Distribution Not Moot Because Jurisdictional Question Remained

An appeal of an order directing emergency distributions from a trust to preserve licenses for seats for the Los Angeles Lakers did not become moot after the trustee made the distributions because the trustee had raised a jurisdictional issue that still needed to be resolved. The individual trustee had appointed a corporate co-trustee in South Dakota and the two trustees had executed documents transferring the situs of the trust to South Dakota, and so claimed that the Pennsylvania courts no longer had jurisdiction over the trust. The beneficiary was entitled to become a co-trustee at age 30 and alleged that he accepted the trusteeship before the corporate co-trustee was appointed and that his consent was necessary for a valid appointment. That factual dispute had to be resolved before the Orphans’ Court could determine whether Pennsylvania law continued to govern the administration of the trust. Trust of John S. Middleton, ___ A.3d. ___, 2024 PA Super 53 (3/25/2024). (For a summary of another opinion on another issue involving this same trust, see “Dismissal of Answer and New Matter Is Not Appealable.”)

[Note: The opinion distinguishes between the law governing the construction or interpretation of the trust and the law governing the administration of the trust.]

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