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We were appointed by the Surrogate’s Court to represent a minor in a case of a trust and prevailed

A partner in our law firm was appointed by the Surrogate’s Court to represent the interests of a minor grandchild, who by the literal terms of the decedent’s testamentary trust benefitting her father during his lifetime, was excluded from benefitting upon his recent death. The decedent’s will created testamentary trusts to benefit his son and daughter. If his daughter died, her remaining trust assets were to pass to her issue. If his son died, his remaining trust assets were to pass to remote relatives. The proof was that at the time of the drafting of the will and even at the time of the decedent’s death, the decedent's son was believed to be incapable of fathering a child. However, years later, he and his wife had a child by in vitro fertilization.

The decedent’s daughter was murdered and had no children. Thus, her share passed to the remote decedents. As guardian ad litem for the minor grandchild, we undertook litigation on her behalf, including seeking a construction and reformation of the testamentary trust benefitting her father to include the minor grandchild as a beneficiary upon her father’s recent death. The remote relatives fought the litigation. Ultimately, we prevailed. A substantial sum of money was placed in trust for the minor grandchild as a result of a court ordered settlement.