Probate & Trust Litigation

A resource for lawyers and the public in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for information on will contests, trust disputes, guardianships, conservatorships, elder exploitation, fiduciary duty claims, and other probate litigation disputes.

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Scheffel v. Krueger Appears in Leading T&E Text

Harvard Law School Professor Robert Sitkoff  has called to my attention that Scheffel v. Krueger, a case I successfully argued to the NH Supreme Court, appears in Wills, Trusts and Estates, the leading T&E law school text which Sitkoff and and Professor Jesse Dukeminier author.

Kyle Krueger had sexually assaulted a minor (and allegedly filmed and internet broadcast his assault) and was criminally convicted and in jail at the time of our engagement.  The victim’s mother sued Krueger and obtained a default judgment, which she then sought to enforce by trustee attachment against Krueger’s beneficial interest in a spendthrift trust that had been established by his mother.  We represented Citizens Bank as trustee of the trust.

The issue on appeal was whether the Court should adopt for public policy reasons a tort exception to the enforceability of spendthrift provisions.  Certainly, the justice of the victim’s claim against Krueger could not have been more compelling.  The Court, however, declined to step down that slippery slope and held that spendthrift provisions must be upheld, giving trust settlors and their counsel clarity and confidence in this important area of trust law.

Sometimes, terrible facts make good law.

(Note: Ralph Holmes is currently retired from McLane Middleton. For information on this or other probate litigation issues, please contact Alexandra Cote at