In Uncategorized on 04/14/2022 at 15:52

Long-time readers of this my blog will remember that trusts can be real estate professionals; those who come late can see my blogpost “Trust Me, Trust Me,” 9/27/14. Now Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley says a trust can be better than a next friend in Estate of JoAnn Molero, Deceased, Docket No. 31299-21, filed 4/14/22.

Seems the late JoAnn’s daughter Leslie moves to be recognized as next friend, because the petition was filed after the late JoAnn became the late JoAnn.

“The motion states that no probate proceeding was commenced with respect to decedent’s estate because JoAnn Molero and her husband Charles C. Molero, who predeceased decedent, had established a revocable living trust, of which Leslie … is now the successor trustee. The motion was signed by decedent’s other children, Frank Molero and Bryan Molero, indicating that they do not object to the granting of the motion. On April 8, 2022, a status report was filed on behalf of decedent. Attached to the status report is a copy of decedent’s trust document, which sets forth information concerning the trust’s successor trustee and the trustee’s powers.” Order, at p. 1.

Looks like the late JoAnn and the even later Charles C. took Norm Dacey’s 1967 advice to heart, and avoided probate.

But Rule 60(d) next friendship only applies to infants and incompetents, and neither the late JoAnn nor the even later Charles C. qualifies.

But have no fear, Ch J Mighty Mo is on the case.

“However, the Court is satisfied that Leslie…, in her capacity of successor trustee of decedent’s living trust, is legally qualified to represent decedent in this litigation.” Order, at p. 1.

So Ch J Mighty Mo unfriends Leslie, but subs in the trust, with Leslie as trustee.

Practice tip: Draw your inter vivos trusts to let successor trustees commence, defend, compromise, settle, intervene in, take appeals from, or sub into, any judicial or administrative proceeding. And attach a copy of the trust instrument (and any amendments) to your motion papers when you’re subbing in.

And a Taishoff “Good Job” to Leslie’s trusty attorneys at Neilson-Spaulding.


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