PROBATE 16: Can trustee change the principal place of administration of the trust?

The probate court determined that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition because the situs of the trust had been transferred to Florida.

In 2001, Elizabeth created the Elizabeth Trust and named her daughters, appellees Patricia and Connie, co-successors. In 2004, Elizabeth executed a durable power of attorney for finances and named Patricia as her agent. In 2013, Patricia, as agent for Elizabeth, resigned Elizabeth as trustee of the Elizabeth Trust and assumed duties as co-successor trustee of the trust with Connie. Elizabeth died in 2014.

In January 2015, Patricia gave written notice to beneficiaries of the Trust that she was changing the situs of the Trust from Michigan to Florida. Appellant apparently received the notice, and sent an objection to the situs change, but sent it to the wrong address. Patricia represents that she did not receive appellant’s objection. The record indicates that no other beneficiary objected to the transfer. The Trust has been continuously administered in Florida by Patricia since 2015.

In 2017, appellant filed a petition to remove Patricia as trustee.

After reviewing the Trust agreement and Patricia’s 2015 notice of the situs change, the court ruled that it indeed lacked jurisdiction in Michigan to hear appellant’s petition because Patricia had the authority to transfer the situs of the Trust at her discretion.

Probate courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. MCL 700.7203(1) grants Michigan probate courts broad and exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings in this state brought by a trustee or beneficiary that concern the administration of a trust. However, MCL 700.7205(1) provides: If a party objects, the court shall not entertain a proceeding under section 7203 that involves a trust that is registered or that has its principal place of administration in another state.

The requirements of MCL 700.7108(3) and (5), governing a transfer of the principal place of administration of a trust, apply only if a trust is silent as to how a trustee may change the principal place of administration of the trust. Because the Trust agreement governs the change of situs, the probate court was correct to conclude that Patricia was not required to provide the Trust’s beneficiaries notice of her intent to move the Trust’s situs in accordance with the Michigan Trust Code. Appellees were empowered by the Trust agreement to change the principal place of administration of the trust to Florida at their sole discretion.

In addition to drafting wills, trusts and other estate planning instruments, Aldrich Legal Services can review existing estate planning documents. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced probate and estate administration lawyer at our firm, contact our law office in Plymouth, Michigan. We are also available to meet with clients in Ann Arbor by appointment.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Top 3 Misconceptions on Power of Attorney

Considering leaving the country for a long time while maintaining a business or selling a home in the US? Were you recently diagnosed with a terminal or degenerative disease? For these and many other issues, it may become necessary for someone...

FAMILY LAW 29: Quitclaim deed signed after prenuptial agreement prevails.

The court ruled that title to the land prevails and that once the deed was signed, the property became the undivided whole interest for both the decedent and appellee and became appellee’s property upon the decedent’s death. Consequently, the court concluded that the prenuptial agreement did not have any impact on the property rights of appellee in this case.

Know the Differences between Annulment and Divorce

  Marriage can end through two ways: divorce and annulment. Though both of these options have the same result, each has different requirements. There are many similarities and differences between a divorce and an annulment, so many...

Understanding Vaping Laws for Minors

  Vaping is a fad that is quickly solidifying into a stable industry of products around the world. Vaping and electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) use have dramatically increased from roughly “seven million [users] in 2011 to 35...

Michigans New Marijuana Laws

The 2018 ballot initiative titled “the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) passed with 56% of the vote. Michigan joins nine states and D.C. in legalizing some form of recreational marijuana use.  Due to the...

Cyberbullying Is Now A Punishable Crime In Michigan

Beginning in March 2019, cyberbullying will now be illegal in the state of Michigan. The House Bill 5017 now makes cyberbullying a punishable crime by Michigan law, meaning that those who harass others online could face potential jail...

The Difference Between Theft, Robbery and Burglary

Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of someone’s personal property by...

Do I Have To Go To Court If I Get A Divorce?

If you’re contemplating a divorce in Michigan, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the most intimidating aspects of getting a divorce in Michigan or anywhere else is the idea of having to appear in court. The laws for getting a...

Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is not only for the wealthy people in society, like Hollywood celebrities and the like but also for any couple that brings personal assets, property, debts or children from a former relationship into the marriage. This...

PROBATE 19: Respondent argues she did not receive notice of hearing until five days before.

Respondent argues that she was denied her right to due process of law because she did not receive notice of the hearing until five days before it took place. Respondent argues that the five-day notice of hearing violated her right to due process. Due process generally requires that notice be reasonably calculated to apprise interested parties of the action and to provide them an opportunity to be heard.

WILLS/TRUSTS 11: Allegations that a trustee violated his fiduciary duties.

MCL 700.7803 states that a trustee shall act as would a prudent person in dealing with the property of another, including following the standards of the Michigan prudent investor rule. If the trustee has special skills or is named trustee on the basis of representation of special skills or expertise, the trustee is under a duty to use those skills. MCL 700.7810 states that a trustee shall take reasonable steps to take control of and protect the trust property.

How Is Probation Violated?

If you are on probation, it means you have the judge's trust and have been allowed some level of freedom. Now you must work on ensuring you don’t violate your probation. You will need to abide by every term that the criminal court judge...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000