Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trustee Citizenship Regulates Federal Diversity Jurisdiction

Trustee citizenship2For 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. 



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