A woman and her sister were co-trustees of a trust created by their mother. Our client, a bank, was the third co-trustee of the trust. The woman claimed that her sister and the bank breached their fiduciary duties by allowing the sister to use assets in their mother’s and father’s trusts for the sister’s personal use. We filed an accounting proceeding on behalf of the bank, which led to counter and cross claims by the feuding siblings, as well as a will contest at the mother’s death.
The mother’s family agreed to mediation, which lasted three days and resulted in a settlement agreement that required court approval of the payments. The judge refused to approve the payments without an in-depth, time-consuming and expensive proceeding, and the family continued to quarrel. To achieve final resolution, we negotiated amendments to the settlement agreement and approved further use of the mediator to verify payments under the settlement agreement.