Friday, October 25, 2013
Pennsylvania’s version of UTC § 706 allows the removal of a trustee who has not committed a breach of trust if the removal is in the best interests of the beneficiaries, is not inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust, and there has been a substantial change of circumstances.
In In re McKinney, 67 A.3d 824 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2013), the court reversed the trial court’s refusal to remove and replace a corporate trustee finding that a string of mergers over several years resulting in the departure of personnel with whom the beneficiaries had worked for many years and the removal of the beneficiaries from Pennsylvania to another state satisfied the statutory prerequisite for removal. On remand, the trial court must evaluate the suitability of the proposed successor corporate trustee and reconsider the award of attorney’s fees to the removed trustee.
Special thanks to William LaPiana (Professor of Law, New York Law School) for bringing this case to my attention.