This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Chuhak & Tecson Wins 'doctrine Of Election' Estate Case At Illinois Supreme Court





CHICAGO, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a case of first impression argued by David Feinberg at Chuhak & Tecson, P.C., the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the doctrine of election pertaining to last wills is not necessarily the last word in court challenges to a living trust amendment.

The 6-1 judgment reversed two lower court decisions in Estate of Robert E. Boyar v. Grant Dixon, 2013 IL 113655. The case was presented by Chuhak & Tecson principals David Feinberg, Barry Feinberg and Daniel Fumagalli, and marked the first time the Illinois Supreme Court has dealt with the doctrine of election in almost 60 years.

In its April 4, 2013, opinion, the Supreme Court reversed both the circuit and appellate court decisions applying the doctrine of election as it relates to wills to an amendment to a trust. The upper court departed from the earlier judgments of the lower court in ruling that Boyar v. Dixon should not have been based on the doctrine of election or dismissed in circuit court. It ruled the appellate court also was in error in upholding the dismissal.

Dismissal in both proceedings had been based on a bright line interpretation of the doctrine of election, a case law principle that precludes a beneficiary to a will from contesting any part of the will if property has already been received.

"In this instance, our client had received nominal personal property that was owned by his father's revocable living trust," said David Feinberg, who argued the case. "Both the circuit court and appellate court ruled that because he had accepted the benefit, the client was foreclosed from contesting any part of his father's trust, including an amendment that had nothing to do with property issues."

Drafted less than a month before the death of the testator and without the knowledge of the beneficiaries, the amendment in question involved the designation of a new successor trustee. The amendment replaced both the Northern Trust and the testator's son, Robert A. Boyar, as co-trustees, with a neighbor, Grant Dixon, as sole trustee.  In addition, the amendment also provided that a majority of the income beneficiaries of the trust could not remove Grant Dixon as sole trustee.  

Feinberg argued, and the court agreed, that there was no inconsistency between Boyar's and other family members' receipt of personal property and his challenge to the amendment naming a new trustee—and that in any case, the doctrine of election should be applied on a case-by-case basis rather than as a bright line rule.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs