We have previously discussed that after you experience a significant change in circumstances, you need to review and update your estate plan. Not doing so, can cause significant problems for your estate. For example, one of the main advantages of having a Living Trust is that the assets in the Trust do not have to got through Probate. However, if you fail to update your estate plan, then the Trust might have to go through Probate because of the mistake.
That is exactly what is happening to the estates of Mr. and Mrs. Jeno Paulucci, the inventor of Jeno’s Pizza Rolls. After they retired to Florida, they did not update their Minnesota Trusts to account for Florida law. Shortly before they passed away, they changed the Trustees of the Trusts. Their children believe that happened as a result of manipulation. However, Minnesota and Florida laws differ over removal of Trustees. If Minnesota law applies to the Trust, then the Trustees can be removed easily. If Florida law applies, the children will have to prove that there was manipulation involved in the switch.
It is too early to determine which state’s laws apply in this case. The court will need to resolve that before resolving the dispute over the Trustee. That is a lot of time in court that could have been avoided by updating the estate plan when the couple moved to Florida.