For Immediate Release: July 10, 2017
The firm is pleased to announce that it successfully defended Co-Trustees of an Irrevocable Trust against claims by future beneficiaries for damages arising out of the conveyance by the Trustees of two tracts of real estate.
The case involved allegations of breach of fiduciary obligations by the Trustee of a Trust which assets consists primarily of farmland. In the case tried to a jury in March, the Trustee defendants were accused of breach of fiduciary obligations in the transfer of two tracts of land. The Trustees asserted defenses for the transfer of an 8 acre parcel and a 30 acre parcel of property on grounds of need to serve Trust purposes to obtain liquid funds for repairs and on grounds of directives in the Trust interpreted by the Trustees permitting conveyance of the 2nd parcel to one of the settlors for her separate enjoyment.
Two of the beneficiaries of the Trust brought a complaint in the Superior Court asserting breach of fiduciary obligations by the Trustees in making conveyances and for damages.
After deliberations, the jury found the Trustees had followed expressed language of the Trust with respect to the first conveyance and further found damages of $1.00 with respect to breach of duties with respect to the second transaction. The case was tried before the Honorable Andrew Comer, Superior Court Judge, presiding in Stokes County, North Carolina during the week before Easter with the jury returning the verdict on the Tuesday after Easter. Richard Robertson, Sr. represented the firm’s clients and defended the Trustees in the course of the pretrial and trial proceedings.
Attorney Richard Robertson commented on the jury verdict stating, “Our clients were please to have this result in a difficult case. Our clients were gratified to have the jury’s support after their many years of honest and gratuitous service as Trustees.”
“In this case, our firm was able to complement it’s practice in drafting Trusts and in advising Trustees and Beneficiaries under Trusts by this actual trial experience with claims arising from the operation of the Trust under North Carolina law.”