Saturday, February 15, 2014
A co-settlor of a joint trust has standing to challenge the will of the other co-settlor. A daughter challenged the validity of her mother’s joint trust and pour over will on capacity grounds. The mother had executed a will before executing the pour over will and under that will daughter received nothing.
In re Jack Wong Yuen and Lei Young Wong Yuen Revocable Living Trust Dated April 22, 1996, 312 P.3d 1240 (Haw. Ct. App. 2013) the trial court granted summary judgment to the proponents of the pour over will holding that because the daughter was disinherited under the prior will, she had no standing. The Hawaii intermediate appellate court reversed, holding in a thorough opinion reviewing Hawaii cases and those from sister states that because the prior will had not been admitted to probate, the daughter’s status as an heir through intestacy was sufficient to give her standing to challenge the validity of the pour over will and trust.
Special thanks to William LaPiana (Professor of Law, New York Law School) for bringing this case to my attention.