Zimmerman v. Zirpolo Trust: "Conflicts Of Interest" For Personal Representatives—A Closer Look
Contributor: Joseph C. Schroeder
A parent may represent and bind the interest of their minor child, provided there is no conflict of interest between the parent and the child with respect to a particular question or dispute. Once acting in the representative role, the parent may invoke Ohio Trust Code ("OTC") beneficiary protections, including the right to request and receive information pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 5808.13. ...
Zimmerman involves a parent who, while acting in the capacity of representative for her minor children, requested from the Trustee a copy of the deceased Settlor's trust, as well as a trust accounting. The parent originally was a named beneficiary to the trust, but through a subsequent trust amendment, the parent was removed as a beneficiary. Through the same trust amendment, the parent's children were added as trust beneficiaries. The Trustee refused to provide requested trust information to the parent representative, asserting the parent's prior status and subsequent removal as a beneficiary created a conflict of interest between the representative parent and the minor children. Therefore, the Trustee concluded, the parent did not qualify to serve as a representative pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 5803.03.
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