Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Rhode Island

(Conflicting State Trust Laws) &The Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act

My grandfather’s trust was written in Rhode Island in 1952.

Well without going into all the details. The Florida courts and lawyers in general in Florida consider the clauses in the Will/Trust to mean that I was never a beneficiary perhaps a contingent beneficiary. But when I showed the very same Will/Trust to Rhode Island attorneys they Clearly say some even in writing that under the terms of the Will/Trust that I was a vested beneficiary.

The problem is that with the passage of so many years and the complexity of the trust unless I have a statement from some authoritive source such as a Rhode island Court for example saying that I was a vested beneficiary of the trust and not just a contingent beneficiary that I will not be able to get my foot in the door in the Florida state courts especially as a pro se litigant.

My question is that because the trust was written in Rhode Island and because lawyers and parties in Florida and Rhode Island are co conflicted on what the trust says… can I ask the Rhode Island court to review the trust and advise me what my rights are under it under Rhode Islands law under The Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act Rhode Island law G.L. 1956 § 9-30-1?

Asked on 4/12/05, 2:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Patricia Joyce Law Office of Patricia M. Joyce

Re: (Conflicting State Trust Laws) &The Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act

A very quick reading of the appliable section of the statute (§ 9-30-4)indicates that legatees or heirs would have the ability to seek a declaratory judgment from the Rhode Island Superior Court.

Of course, an adverse ruling could possibly be appealed to the RI Supreme Court, so unless the amount involved is substantial, it may not be cost effective even to seek Superior Court review.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 4/12/05, 2:42 pm

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