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Declaratory Judgment Appellate Court Opinion

by Mazur, Catherine

 

AC38734 - Day v. Seblatnigg ("The principal issue in this case is whether a settlor of a revocable trust who is later under a voluntary conservatorship may, while under conservatorship, acting on her own behalf, convert the trust to an irrevocable trust without action by her conservator and without her conservator obtaining Probate Court approval. The defendant, First State Fiduciaries, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court granting the motion of the plaintiff, Margaret E. Day, coconservator of the estate of Susan D. Elia, for summary judgment and declaring that the Susan D. Elia Irrevocable Trust dated September 15, 2011 (Delaware irrevocable trust) was void ab initio and unenforceable, and that all transfers of assets from Elia's conservatorship estate to the Delaware irrevocable trust or its wholly owned limited liability company, Peace at Last, LLC, were unauthorized and improper and ordering that the assets from Elia's conservatorship estate that were transferred to the Delaware irrevocable trust to Peace at Last, LLC, shall be immediately returned to Elia's conservatorship estate.

"On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in the absence of an indispensable party, Bryn Mawr Trust Company of Delaware (Bryn Mawr). We conclude that the court properly determined that Elia could not lawfully replace the Connecticut revocable trust with the Delaware irrevocable trust while under a conservatorship. We also conclude that the court properly determined that the former conservator of Elia's estate, Renee F. Seblatnigg, could not transfer the assets of the conservatorship estate to the Delaware irrevocable trust and that this transfer was void ab initio. Finally, we conclude that Bryn Mawr was not an indispensable party. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")