My sister and her husband were going through a divorce when she passed away in November 2014 after a long illness. Approximately one year prior to her death, she hired Mr. Ruddy to set up a written trust agreement for her two boys, as well as, her last will.
Mr. Ruddy, while preparing and doing background work for the written trust agreement, came across a joint trust created by my sister and her husband. This written trust agreement conveyed, among other things, title to the family residence to this joint trust for the benefit of each of them "as tenants by the entirety with the full right of survivorship as at common law, or their successor beneficiaries in trust". Upon my sister's death, her husband became the sole trust of the joint trust.
Mr. Ruddy informed my sister that his interpretation of their joint trust revealed some very unusual and rare circumstances whereby she could exercise a power to cause a right of conveyance of all property in this joint trust to her probate estate, including the family residence. And then Mr. Ruddy explained that he could set up the terms of her will to allow such property to pass my sister's trust. This was truly welcomed and wonderful news for my sister who was battling serious health and divorce issues at the time.
Mr. Ruddy graciously stayed on this case after my sister's passing and had to deal with her siblings (one who lived in the same Virginia area and two who were out of state - Georgia and California). Despite these logistical and time differences, Mr. Ruddy worked tirelessly with us (via conference calls and e-mails) in trying to meet the wishes of my sister and at the same time not trying to tear apart the families involved for the sake of the boys.
On April 21. 2016, almost one and a half years after my sister's death, a settlement agreement was signed which required her husband to set up an irrevocable trust for the benefit of the boys in exchange for conveyance of title to the family residence and all other tangible property identified in the joint trust created by my sister and her husband.
All three siblings greatly appreciated the time, effort and compassion that was put into this venture by Mr. Ruddy and we will be eternally grateful. We would highly recommend Mr. Ruddy should you need a lawyer.