Litigation over most wills does not continue for a very long time as courts want to have everything settled as quickly as possible. However, there are some wills that can be litigated for years, including one in Pennsylvania that a judge recently called the most litigated will in history.
Stephen Girard passed away in 1831. In his will, Girard created a trust that was to be used to create a school, Girard College. Litigation over the provisions of this will and trust has been brought several times over the years. Recently a judge made yet another ruling in the matter.
Most of the litigation has been over expanding the scope of the school. Originally, it was supposed to be a residential school for orphan boys. Over the years, the courts have allowed that scope to expand to include minorities, female students and children with one living parent. A recent post in The Elder Law Prof Blog, titled “The Latest Ruling on ‘The Most Litigated Will in History,“ has the story of the latest litigation over Girard’s estate. This time the trustees wanted to change the trust to allow the school to offer classes to high school students and to do away with the residence hall. The court ruled that it would not allow that.
Obviously, Girard’s will is unusual. Most trusts end long before litigation can continue for almost 200 years. However, charitable trusts are different. They can see ongoing litigation over the terms of the gift as circumstances change. When that happens, courts have to decide what to do.
Reference: Elder Law Prof Blog (August 28, 2014) “The Latest Ruling on ‘The Most Litigated Will in History“
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!