Planned Giving Nightmare CRT Case

This new legal ruling is for the die hard planned giving folk out there:

http://courts.delaware.gov/opinions/%28jt5l5vngapjgmyzobwkq5ejj%29/download.aspx?ID=126540

I haven’t spent enough time on it to give readers my summary and my uptake but from my first glance, it’s a real doozy of a fact pattern.

Here is a glimpse and a quote from the introduction of the opinion: A Merrill Lynch broker

“advised an elderly woman to place most of her life savings in a charitable remainder unitrust with a 10 percent annual payout, lifetime gifts to her children as successor-beneficiaries, and the remainder to go to five charities, an event expected to occur almost half a century later — objectives that all now seem to agree and understand were unrealistic and likely unattainable. In the spirit of cross-selling, a trust company sister entity of the brokerage firm was designated trustee. Legal advice was provided by an attorney selected by the brokerage firm; the attorney never even spoke with her client, the trustor.”

I think this case will be a spring board for a series of blog posts on ethics in the planned giving area!

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