Order Issued On Helmsley Trust

Its been a while since I posted anything on Leona Helmsley’s estate/trust troubles but this morning Professor Berry published this post about an order having issued by the court.

The trustees had filed an action asking the court to determine the scope of their discretion to apply trust funds for charitable purposes. 

The “mission statement” of the trust dated March 1, 2004 provides that the trustees may make grants for “(1) purposes related to the provision of care for dogs; and (2) such other charitable activities as the Trustees shall determine.”

The trustees asserted that this mission statement was revoked by later documents. 

The Attorney General of the State of New York, representing potential charitable beneficiaries, successfully claimed that this issue is irrelevant because the trust expressly states that the trustee’s discretion is not limited by mission statements. 

Accordingly, the court held that “the trustees may apply trust funds for such charitable purposes and in such amounts as they may, in their sole discretion, determine.”

Thanks Professor…  I had been wondering where this case went.

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