- November 9, 2015
Karen MacKay and Gerry Ring have represented corporate and individual executors and trustees in proceedings to construe wills and trusts, will contests based on lack of capacity and undue influence, suits to reform a will or trust due to a scrivener’s error, and citations to recover assets. Karen, whose background is complex estate planning, provides the will and trust expertise, while Gerry, as a member of the firm's litigation practice and former trial advocacy faculty advisor, provides the litigation and negotiation strategy. Karen's extensive experience with estate tax matters provides clients an additional benefit, particularly with negotiated settlements.
Based on their experience over the past two decades, Karen and Gerry understand that trust and estate litigation often involves complicated family dynamics that, if ignored, can prolong and intensify the underlying dispute. Karen and Gerry identify and consider such dynamics when planning for litigation or settlement, and endeavor to move litigation swiftly through court to facilitate an early resolution or settlement, and reduce expense.
If you would like Burke, Warren, MacKay and Serritella, P. C. to guide you in Trust and Estate Litigation please contact Karen MacKay at 312-840-7009 (email@example.com) or Gerry Ring at 312-840-7014 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here are some cases Karen and Gerry have worked on over the years:
Trust Construction Actions
- 10 CH 15026 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Represented corporate and individual Co-Trustees in action to construe ambiguity concerning the distribution of trust assets. Resolution: Obtained court order interpreting trust and approval of a family settlement agreement.
- 10 CH 25696 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Trust construction action on behalf of corporate Trustee. Resolution: Obtained court order interpreting trust and approval of a family settlement agreement.
- 10 CH 12223 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Defended individual Trustee in an action to challenge the exercise of Power of Appointment. Resolution: Pending.
- 08 CH 15284 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: The case involved an ambiguity concerning the distribution of trust assets and request for approval of a new trust by way of a trust-to-trust transfer. Resolution: Obtained a court order approving the trust-to-trust transfer and interpretation of the trust.
- 05 CH 12622 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Represented bank as successor trustee in connection with a complaint to construe a trust and action for accounting and imposition of constructive trust against original trustee who misappropriated funds. Resolution: Successful resolution of the action, including the recapture of more than $1.2 million.
- 01 P 4507 (Cook County, Chicago, Probate Division). Subject: Represented qualified Illinois charitable organization in petition to construe trust and scope of charity’s interest. Resolution: Case resolved under agreement that provided charity with increased interest in distribution and reimbursement of all fees.
- 2000-809TT (Calhoun County, Michigan). Subject: Represented individual beneficiary under a trust in connection with a petition for limited supervision, construction, and reformation of trust relating to the adoption of an adult. Resolution: Case settled pursuant to confidential agreement, including payment of client's fees.
- 97 CH 0843 (DuPage County, Illinois). Subject: Represented beneficiary in action brought by successor trustee concerning the disposition of the remainder interest. Resolution: Case dismissed pursuant to agreement with terms favorable to client.
- 06 CH 11985 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Represented grantor on a petition to reform a trust which, due to a scrivener's error, may not have qualified as an intentionally defective grantor trust. Grantor also filed a motion to allow adult beneficiaries to represent interests of minor and unborn descendants. Resolution: Petition to reform the trust was granted, and motion to allow the minor and unborn descendants to be represented by the adult beneficiaries under the common law doctrine of virtual representation was also granted.
- 04 P 408 (Cook County, Chicago, Probate Division). Subject: Represented corporate trustee in connection with a successful petition for reformation of trust under which the trust, as drafted, may have violated Section 2056(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code because it provided for a specific payment annually to the widow, rather than distribution of all income. Resolution: The trust was successfully reformed; Federal Estate Tax Return was accepted as filed.
- 03 CH 18183 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Represented grantor in a petition for reformation of trust due to a scrivener's error that could be interpreted to permit the grantor's wife to designate herself as a beneficiary and thus subject a GST exempt trust to GST tax pursuant to Section 2652(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code and potential Federal estate tax in wife's estate. Resolution: Obtained a court order reforming the trust to correct the scrivener's error.
Trust Administrative Actions-Citations-Supplemental Proceeding-Fiduciary Litigation
- 2010 P 817 (County Department, Probate Division). Subject: Defended individual Trustee in action to declare will void on grounds of lack of capacity and undue influence, and prosecution of citation against creditor. Resolution: Pending.
- 09 CH 16385 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Defended Trustee against action for reformation, fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty. Resolution: Dismissal of all claims in favor of client.
- 07 P 266 (Kankakee County, Probate Division). Subject: Prosecution of citation to recover assets based upon undue influence. Resolution: Recovery of $500,000 for the benefit of the Estate.
- 07 CH 4362 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Petition to Remove Individual Co-Trustee for conduct detrimental to the interests of the trust and its administration. Resolution: Co-Trustee removed pursuant to agreement of the parties.
- 04 CH 04442 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Represented a qualified charitable organization regarding construction of an alleged amendment to a trust to determine client's status as a beneficiary. Resolution: Case settled upon terms favorable to the charity.
- 02 CH 7210 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Represented individual trustee on a petition for instructions relating to trust administration. Resolution: We obtained instructions from court and an order mooting certain administration issues.
- 01 L 455 (Lake County, Illinois). Subject: Defended corporate trustee regarding alleged breach of fiduciary duty by individual co-trustee resulting in damages in excess of $1 million. Resolution: Case favorably resolved by agreement.
- 00 PR 165 (McHenry County, Probate Division). Subject: Represented corporate executor and trustee in connection with a petition to contest a will based on allegations of the existence of another will and a promise to make a will. Resolution: Obtained summary judgment granted in favor of corporate executor and trustee.
- 00 CH 135 (Champaign County, Illinois). Subject: Represented individual beneficiary in action to determine proper beneficiaries under a trust. Resolution: Obtained judgment on the pleadings in favor of beneficiary.
- 98 CH 128206 (Cook County, Chicago, Chancery Division). Subject: Represented charitable beneficiary to determine proper beneficiaries under a will and trust. Resolution: Case favorably settled pursuant to confidential agreement.
- 98 P 0918 (DuPage County, Probate Division). Subject: Represented a qualified Illinois charitable organization as Respondent to a petition to recover assets in a case involving undue influence as a defense. Resolution: Obtained a court order dismissing the citation and case resolved on terms favorable to client.
- 96 P 10660 (Cook County, Chicago, Probate Division). Subject: Represented a beneficiary regarding a claim of undue influence and lack of capacity concerning a gift. Resolution: Case settled pursuant to agreement upon favorable terms.
- 96 P 7462 (Cook County, Chicago, Probate Division). Subject: Defended corporate executor in a will contest. Resolution: Obtained an order dismissing the will contest