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Wills, Trusts and Estates - Part 1

• Can a church that is named as a beneficiary under a charitable trust challenge the sale of trust property on the basis of inadequacy of sales price? Yes, concluded a Michigan state appeals court. A decedent had established a charitable trust, naming an Episcopalian diocese and a local church among the beneficiaries. The major asset of the trust was a 315-acre estate that included a large residence. The trustees sold the estate (for $3.25 million) in order to obtain cash to pay trust expenses. The diocese and church challenged the sale on the following grounds: (1) the trustees breached their duty to notify the beneficiaries regarding this important aspect of trust administration; (2) the trustees failed to obtain an appraisal; (3) the trustees failed to adequately market the property; and (4) the sales price was inadequate. A probate court agreed with these contentions, removed the ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1989