U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Recent Trusts & Estates Law Decisions

A rather narrow yet fascinating issue just got a definitive answer from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Even if a jury finds an accused murderer not guilty by reason of insanity, if the accused did it, they can't inherit from their victim.

Out of context, it sounds really crazy, but in the context of domestic abuse and spousal or parent murder, it begins to make much more sense. Why should a surviving spouse benefit from an inheritance if they murdered their spouse? When there is a mental health issue, for some, that might complicate matters. But, for the Seventh Circuit, its reading of the Illinois slayer statute didn't leave much room for interpretation, or a murdering spouse's chance at inheriting anything.

What happens when you are filthy rich and have lots of time on your hands? You sue your trustees of course, for breach of fiduciary duty. What happens when you lose the lawsuit? You have to pay your trustee's attorney's fees.

In a recent 7th Circuit case, the heirs not only lost their claim, but now owe attorney fees exceeding the amount they were suing for.

Sometimes, you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Dexia Credit Local v. Rogan, 09-2986

Judgment creditor's request for turnover of defendant's assets held in trusts in the names of defendant's children

Dexia Credit Local v. Rogan, 09-2986, concerned a plaintiff's suit for supplemental proceedings, requesting turnover of assets held in trusts that defendant had established, including trusts in the names of each of defendant's three adult children, to satisfy a $124 million judgment against defendant.