Trust litigation and cross-state issues

Blog Post

With families often spread throughout the country, it’s become important to navigate family dynamics using multi-state, federal and tax laws. Even a well-drafted estate plan may no longer fit a family’s needs due to a move, a marriage or changes in charitable intent.

For example, Charlie, an Ohio resident, died in 1968, leaving his business to his daughter, Seraphina. Seraphina, who lived in Montana and had sold a portion of the business, dies in 2023, leaving behind a non-citizen spouse, nieces and nephews, and a passion for contributing to the community.

During the estate administration in Montana, the new attorney realizes the provisions of the trust drafted in Montana do not provide a marital deduction for estate tax purposes, one of the named charities has dissolved, and there are many types of assets and beneficiaries. The trustee is located in Ohio, as is the business and most of the beneficiaries. After discussion, the attorneys decide it’s appropriate to apply Ohio law.

While most estate planning attorneys work to avoid court, sometimes it is necessary. Estate planning and trust litigation attorneys working together can assist families navigating cross-state and tax issues while working to maintain family harmony.

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