Spencer v. Di Cola

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
2014 IL App (1st) 121173
Decision Date: 
May 1, 2014
1st Dist.
Cook Co., 4th Div.
(Court opinion corrected 5/8/14.) Decedent died in 1968, leaving estate in excess of $75 million. Family trust left $3 million to his four male children and their descendants, and gave individual and corporate trustees great discretion, including ability to make unequal distributions to beneficiaries. Court properly granted summary judgment for successor trustee where terms of trust did not grant beneficiaries authority to appoint a second trustee to confiscate successor trustee's duties and authorities, and beneficiaries' agreements to try to accomplish that were ineffective. Court properly awarded successor trustee her attorney fees, as beneficiary's allegations of her misconduct were never proven, and she would have had no need for counsel but for beneficiary's actions. (FITZGERALD SMITH and EPSTEIN, concurring.)