Trustees & Beneficiaries: Managing Tensions and Conflict

July 21, 20092:00pm


There is a natural tension between trustees and beneficiaries which is exacerbated in a distressed economic environment. Tensions easily arise when investment decisions go awry, discretionary distributions are not made, or when a trust's income beneficiaries are disadvantaged in favor of principal beneficiaries. These and many other natural tensions make trusts difficult to administer and fertile sources of dispute and fiduciary litigation. Led by practitioners with extensive experience representing trustees and beneficiaries, this program will provide you a practical guide to the common sources of beneficiary v. trustee tension, planning and administration to minimize those tensions, and utilizing techniques short of litigation to resolve the disputes once they arise.

  • Identifying flashpoints between trustees and beneficiaries
  • Investment decision conflicts in a distressed market
  • Tension between income and principal beneficiaries
  • Planning and administration to minimize tensions
  • Techniques for resolving disputes short of formal litigation

    Blanche Lark Christerson is a managing director at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York City, where she works with clients and their advisors to help develop estate, gift, tax, and wealth transfer planning strategies. Earlier in her career she was a vice president in the estate planning department of U.S. Trust Company, where she had primary drafting responsibility for Practical Drafting, the estate planning publication. She also practiced law with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York. Ms. Christerson is the author of the monthly newsletter "Tax Topics" and lectures nationally on planning estate and tax planning topics. She has been quoted frequently by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Ms. Christerson received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, her J.D. from New York Law School and her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.

    Robert W. Benjamin is a partner in the New York office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP, where he counsels foreign and domestic clients in all matters relating to estate planning, probate and the taxation and administration of trusts and estates. He also counsels tax-exempt organizations and members of charitable boards. Mr. Benjamin has served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Pace University and has written extensively on estate and trust topics. He served as a member of the Committee on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate's Courts of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he drafted numerous reports on proposed legislation affecting New York Surrogate's Court practice. Mr. Benjamin received his A.B., with honors, from Vassar College and his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.

    MCLE Credits: 1.0
    Cost: $79.00