Thursday, July 18, 2013
A beneficiary challenged a last-minute change to his father's trust that was changed a in his fathers last weeks of life. The trial and appellate court found that since the beneficiaries took from the trust he was estopped from challenging the change in the trust expanding the election doctrine to include trusts. The Illinois Supreme Court Reviewed the case.
In re Estate of Boyar, 2013 IL 113655, the court in a 6-1 decision, held there was no need to extend the doctrine of election to apply to the trust because it was irrelevant to the facts of the case because there was no election the beneficiary was just contesting an administrative amendment. The court stated that the doctrine of election is an "ancient" principle for equity purposes. The doctrine of election prevents a beneficiary from challenging a will when he has already received benefits under the will. The equitable theory carries out the testator's intent and protects other heirs who will benefit from the will.
See Adam W. Lasker, Supreme Court Declines to Extend Doctorine of Election Beyond Wills to Trusts, Illinois State Bar Association, Jul. 2013.