Justia Rhode Island Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Estate Planning
After Plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce from Dean Miller, Plaintiff and Dean executed a property settlement agreement providing that Dean would maintain life insurance for the benefit of the parties' four minor children until they reached the age of majority. Dean subsequently executed a service request form listing his children as the beneficiaries of his life insurance policy and instructing that beneficial interests be paid to and managed by Kristin Saunders as custodial trustee for the benefit of his minor children. After Dean died, funds from his life insurance policy were distributed to Saunders. Plaintiff filed a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief asking the superior court to declare that Dean's four children were the sole beneficiaries of his life insurance policy. The court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding that Dean created a valid custodial trust pursuant to the Rhode Island Uniform Custodial Trust Act (RIUCTA) and that the trust was not inconsistent with Dean's obligations under the property settlement agreement. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Dean created a custodial trust pursuant to RIUCTA; and (2) Dean did not violate the property settlement agreement by designating Saunders as custodial trustee on the service request form.View "Miller v. Saunders" on Justia Law