Richard Mellon Scaife received a multi-million trust from his mother that was intended to be passed on to his children. When he died it was learned the trust was empty and the children would receive nothing.
Scaife had apparently drained the trust of all its assets to prop up his failing newspaper. His children are suing the trustees on the basis that they should not have allowed Scaife to drain the trust for that unintended purpose.
As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports in "Scaife children say they were kept in dark about trust as it was drained," it appears that one of the trustees, PNC Bank, was aware that there was a potential issue with the way the trust was being administered.
It further appears that, in conversations with its legal advisors, PNC was wondering if Scaife's requests were proper and, if not proper, how the bank could protect itself from potential liability for accommodating them. The children claim that they were never informed.
As the case winds its way forward, the trustees could face problems if it is learned they were aware the trust was not supposed to be emptied but did not deny his requests. They could be held liable if they failed in their duty. To learn more about trusts and estate plans, attend one of our upcoming workshops.
Reference: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Nov. 6, 2015) "Scaife children say they were kept in dark about trust as it was drained"