Wednesday, December 14, 2016
For the purposes of the federal diversity requirement, trusts’ citizenship is determined by the citizenship of the trust’s trustees. In Yueh-Lan Wang v. New Mighty U.S. Trust, the surviving spouse of a Taiwanese billionaire was trying to reclaim billions from a trust in Washington D.C. set up by her husband in his late years. The court concluded that the trust was a “traditional trust,” which lacks juridical person status, disallowing it from suing or being sued. Accordingly, complete diversity existed in this case because the surviving spouse was a Taiwan citizen and the trustees were citizens of the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Virginia. In conclusion, the court held that the outcome-determinative of the trust’s citizenship was based on the citizenship of its trustees.
See Brian Spiro, Citizenship of Trustees Controls for Federal Diversity Jurisdiction, Florida Probate Lawyers, December 13, 2016.