Mesa Bankruptcy Attorney: DuPont Living Trust

By on 7-17-2012 in Bankruptcy Advice

I am Clint Smith. I do wills and estate planning and mainly trusts for people here in Maricopa County Arizona. But there is an issue in the news lately that I thought might be of interest to us here in Arizona and that is, as a result of the Alfred I. du Pont estate .


Mr. du Pont drafted a will in 1935, or that his lawyers did for him, and he also set up a trust and a foundation that has several subsidiaries that dictate what is supposed to happen with his legacy with his money, his assets after he dies.


One of those things was that a foundation was established to create healthcare facilities for children and they have been doing that for a long time, they do great work. There is another huge facility that’s underway right now.


But, the trust documents provide and require that the whole trust should be governed by a board of directors of five members. And three of those must be residents of the State of Delaware. It’s kind of an interesting thing, but I think Mr. du Pont’s goal there was to keep these projects in the state of Delaware.


Well, right now, there’s a lawsuit pending, the Attorney General of the State of Delaware has sued for a violation of that trust which, by the way, is a really rare thing to have happen, but when its multibillion dollars like these guys are, it makes sense, to say that you can’t do this, you need to change your board and the way you are operating is not legal pursuant to what Mr. du Pont said he wanted to have happen.


And, by the way, as a side benefit, it doesn’t help us in Delaware when you don’t have all the people from Delaware that you are supposed to have, a majority of this board. So it’s an interesting proposition. My point is, you can say almost anything you want on how you want your trust to be administered and what you want to have happen with your assets when you pass away. We can draft any of those things.


I’ve got people, they come in and they’ve got a son who is really independent and off kind of doing his own thing and they don’t really trust him with his money. And so they want to limit what he can get. Whereas their daughter or whatever, they want to give them their share outright in cash as soon as they pass away. And you can dictate that.


If you have a special needs person who, either is receiving state benefits, you can make provisions for that so that the cashflow to them doesn’t disqualify them for those benefits. There are many things that need to be considered when putting a trust together and we consider all of that when we are doing it.


So give us a call and we will help you through it.

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