Removal of Trustee Affirmed

The Superior Court has affirmed a decree of the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court denying the validity of attempted appointments of a successor trustee (or, in the alternative, removing the successor trustee appointed) by the resigning trustee and by the settlor, and confirming the appointment of the trustee requested by the primary beneficiary.  The Superior Court agreed that (1) the attempted appointment by the resigning trustee was invalid because it was made outside of the 60 days allowed by the trust document following the resignation, (2) the attempted appointment by the settlor was invalid because the settlor could not appoint himself as trustee and the attempted appointment was of a long-time friend of the settlor whom the court considered to be the settlor’s alter ego, (3) the attempted appointment by the settlor was also voidable under the doctrine of “unclean hands” because the appointment was part of a plan to avoid the enforcement of loans made to the settlor by a limited partnership partially owned by the trust, and (4) the appointed trustee could be removed by the court under the “substantial change in circumstances” standard of 20 Pa.C.S. §7766(b)(4).  The Vincent J. Fumo Irrevocable Children’s Trust for the Benefit of Allison Fumo (Appeal of Vincent J. Fumo), 104 A.3d 535, 2014 PA Super 235, No. 2459 EDA 2013 (10/17/2014), app. den., No. 32 EAL 2015 (7/15/2015).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.