Friday, April 18, 2014
The Administration of a Trust Is Sufficient to Give Courts of the State Where the Trustee Is Located Jurisdiction Over a Beneficiary Residing in Another State
The original trustees of an Illinois land trust created in 1959 were located in New York. In 1983, those trustees were replaced by an Illinois trustee. The substitution of trustees was approved in writing by an overwhelming majority of the beneficiaries of the trust. In 2013, the trustee brought an action in Illinois to reform the trust agreement and one beneficiary, a resident of New York who had approved the substitution of trustees in 1983, objected, alleging that the Illinois court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over him. The trial court agreed, the trustee appealed, and the intermediate Illinois appellate court reversed, holding that the Illinois long arm statute’s grant of personal jurisdiction to the Illinois courts over a non-resident beneficiary of a trust administered in Illinois satisfies the due process requirements of the federal constitution. Kaufman v. Barbiero, 999 N.E.2d 764 (Ill. App. Ct. 2013).
Special thanks to William LaPiana (Professor of Law, New York Law School) for bringing this case to my attention.