Security Bank & Trust Co. v. Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren, Ltd.Annotate this Case
Security Bank & Trust Company (Security Bank) lacked standing both in its capacity as personal representative of Gordon P. Savoie’s estate and in its capacity as trustee of the Gordon P. Savoie Revocable Trust to bring this legal malpractice action related to estate planning services for its deceased client.
In its complaint, Security Bank alleged that Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren, Ltd. (Larkin) failed to advise Savoie that his estate would be subject to a substantial generation-skipping transfer tax upon a distribution to a beneficiary who was more than thirty-seven years younger than him. The district court granted Larkin’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, determining that Savoie lacked standing either as personal representative or as trustee. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Security Bank had standing as personal representative because a cause of action for legal malpractice accrued to Savoie during his lifetime, and therefore, survived to Security Bank. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a cause of action for malpractice did not accrue during Savoie’s lifetime and therefore did not survive to Security Bank; and (2) Security Bank could not state a claim for legal malpractice against Larkin in its capacity as trustee.