Trust Benefitting Ludlow, Vermont Charities Upheld
After an eight-day trial, a Windsor Superior Court jury upheld a Trust Amendment benefitting Ludlow, Vermont charities. At age 85, Phyllis Agan modified her previous Trust to pay approximately $1.5 million out of her $9 million dollar estate to local Ludlow charities. Mrs. Agan’s niece, nephew and sister challenged the Trust Amendment alleging that Mrs. Agan was incompetent at the time she signed it, and was under the “undue influence” of her long-time friend and neighbor, who helped her prepare the Trust Amendment. On behalf of the charities, Peter Langrock and Jim Swift demonstrated to the jury that Mrs. Agan did in fact have the requisite testamentary capacity to sign the Amendment, even though her doctors had previously diagnosed her with dementia. In closing, Peter Langrock argued that it was “ludicrous” to believe that the good friend and neighbor of Mrs. Agan in any way improperly influenced her to include in her Trust local charities, many of which she had been involved with for over 40 years. Co-counsel with Langrock Sperry & Wool was Andrew Boxer, Esq. and Robert Mabey, Esq. of the law firm Ellis, Boxer & Blake, and William O’Brien. Representing the Claimant was Stephen Soule, Esq. and John Sartore, Esq. of the law firm of Paul Frank + Collins, P.C.