In March 2017, Smith Legacy Law secured a critical victory for grantors and made new law in New York in a case of first impression. In Matter of Hoppenstein, a New York court held that an irrevocable trust could be decanted to a new trust pursuant to the terms of the original trust without having to follow the rigorous procedures required under New York’s so-called "decanting" statute.
This decision clarified the need (or lack of need) for trustees to comply with the entirety of New York's strict decanting statute, with the court holding that the Statute does not override the express terms of a trust agreement. It is merely there as a supplement of authority.
The trial court’s ruling was unanimously upheld by the intermediate appellate court and the New York Court of Appeals declined to hear any further appeal.