In Uncategorized on 10/06/2022 at 17:14

Followers of the late Norm Dacey will find their formbook living trusts empower the trustee(s) to dispose of assets and pay claims, but absent judicial paperwork, the doors of the Glasshouse on Second Street are shut to them.

As FL was long reputed to have one of the toughest probate grand slaloms, Leda Sander, trustee of her mom’s probate-dodger, never sought nor got letters from the FL circuit court acting in its probate court capacity. So when IRS hit Mom with a couple SNODs (hi, Judge Holmes) post-mortem, Leda filed a petition in Mom’s name and moved to be subbed in as trustee.

The case is Sandra E. Sander, T. C. Memo. 2022-102, filed 10/6/22.

Judge Morrison writes a dissertation on FL probate law, denying Leda’s attempt to sub in and telling her to get letters. The key is Rule 60(c). This punts capacity to sue over to State law.

Obviously Leda’s trusty attorney left no cliché unturned as he hunted for anything to get Leda over the FL bar. If you’re a FL practitioner, read Judge Morrison’s opinion. And estate planners everywhere should be aware that the living trust is not the universal answer.

The good news is Rule 60 doesn’t nonsuit Leda entirely. Judge Morrison takes IRS’ motion to toss the petition is under advisement for six months, until Leda can get letters.


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