Grantor's Intent Affirmed in Court Case

The court in In Re the LET Revocable Trust affirmed the general rule that the grantor's intent is the primary authority when determining unclear or ambiguous provisions in estate planning documents. In this case, the distribution provisions on the death of the first spouse referred to a funding formula that referenced the estate tax and distributed assets to the children to the extent of the applicable exclusion amount and the excess to a marital trust. The first spouse died in April, 2010 when the estate and GST tax had been repealed. The daughters sued the trust claiming that a precise reading of the formula funded all the assets into the children's portion. The surviving spouse countered that this was not the intent of the estate plan. The court found in favor of the surviving spouse and modified the governing document to reflect the grantors' intent.

This indicates that the madness of the 2010 and estate tax repeal continues...........