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In re Houlahan Trust

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

August 22, 2014

In re Theresa Houlahan Trust

Argued: January 9, 2014.

Editorial Note:

Under New Hampshire procedural rule this decision is subject to motion for rehearing, as well as formal revision before publication in the New Hampshire reports.

6th Circuit Court -- Concord Probate Division.

Affirmed in part; reversed in part; and remanded.

Marcus Hurn, of Concord, by brief and orally, for the petitioner.

Cleveland, Waters and Bass, P.A., of Concord ( David W. Rayment and Mark S. Derby on the brief, and Mr. Rayment orally), for the respondent.

Terrence Houlahan, self-represented party, by brief.

BASSETT, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and HICKS and LYNN, JJ., concurred.

OPINION

Bassett, J.

The petitioner, Thomas Houlahan, appeals a decision of the Circuit Court ( Hampe, J.) denying his motion for summary judgment and granting respondent Maureen Brown's cross-motion for summary judgment.[*] We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

The record supports the following facts. In 1993, John Houlahan and his wife, Theresa Houlahan, established the " Theresa M. Houlahan Revocable Trust of 1993" (the Theresa Trust). The Theresa Trust contained the marital home, located at 12 Pine Hill Road in New London. John was named successor trustee of, and granted certain powers over, the Theresa Trust. Upon the deaths of Theresa and John, the real property was to be distributed to their son, the petitioner.

Theresa died in 1996. In 1997, John established the " John F. Houlahan 1997 Revocable Trust" (the John Trust), as part of a plan to provide for the management of a part of his property for his own benefit during his lifetime and for its disposition after his death. John named his daughter, the respondent, as successor trustee. In November 2002, John conveyed the real property in New London by deed to himself, as trustee of the John Trust. John died on September 10, 2009. Under the terms of the John Trust, " [a]ny interest this trust may have in any real estate" was to be distributed in equal shares to four of his children: the petitioner, the respondent, John F. Houlahan, Jr., and Terrence B. Houlahan.

In January 2011, the petitioner filed a " Petition for Injunction" in the trial court seeking, among other things, an order that the property in New London be returned to the Theresa Trust and that the respondent, as successor trustee of the John Trust, be enjoined from making any attempt to dispose of the property. The claim was based upon Article 10 of the New Hampshire Uniform Trust Code (UTC). See RSA 564-B:10-1001 et seq. (2007 & Supp. 2013). ...


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