S-12-1029, In re Trust of Rolf H. Brennemann, Kim Abbott, Beneficiary (Appellant) v. John E. Brennemann, Mamie Brennemann and William Brennemann, Trustees
Grant County, Judge James T. Orr
Attorneys: Neil E. Williams, Nathaniel J. Mustion (Lane & Williams PCLLO) (Appellees) --- David A. Domina, Brian E. Jorde (DominaLaw Group pcllo) (Appellant)
Civil: Trust accounting
Proceedings below: The trial court found in favor of the Trustee-Appellees. The Court of Appeals affirmed. In re Trust of Brennemann, 21 Neb. 353 (2013). Appellant filed a Petition for Further Review which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Issues on Review: 1. Deciding an issue of first impression, the Court of Appeals erred in holding that a beneficiary bore the initial burden of proof that trustees failed to account for trust assets, income and expenses where she proved no accounting was rendered but was not able to prove more because the records were in the sole control of the Trustees. 2. Deciding the same first impression issue, the Court of Appeals erred in creating a presumption that trustees acted in good faith and in compliance with the trust-an especially egregious presumption where, contrary to statutory requirements, no records of trust actions exists and no timely accounting was rendered. 3. The Court of Appeals erred when it held that IRS Forms K-1, which provide no information about assets, liabilities, income or expenses, but report only amounts reportable to the income tax return of the recipient beneficiary, were sufficient to "reasonably inform" recipients of trust activities and to serve as required accountings. 4. Though the Court of Appeals found a breach of duties by the trustees, it failed to grant any relief and failed to award attorney's fees.