February 2017 - Attorney Stephen G. Walko wins in Supreme Court case involving a dispute between trust beneficiaries and will beneficiaries as to the rightful owner of real property that was owned by an individual as trustee but later devised in the individual’s will (CT SC 19668).
In Zara Lackman Et Al. v. Samantha Hunt McAnulty Et Al., Hugh Hunt created a trust for the benefit of his children; he served as the trustee. He conveyed certain real property to himself, as Trustee; however, the trust documents were never recorded on the land records. Subsequent to conveying the property to himself as trustee, Mr. Hunt executed a will leaving the same property to his grandchildren. Upon his death, the Executor of the Estate of Hugh Hunt omitted the real property from the probate estate under the theory that because it was owned by “Hugh Hunt as Trustee”, the property passed to the beneficiaries of the trust. The beneficiaries of the will brought suit to challenge this action, claiming that the property passed to them under the will based on decedent’s failure to record the trust documents on the land records.