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In the Matter of the

October 5, 2011

IN THE MATTER OF THE IRREVOCABLE FUNDED LIFE INSURANCE TRUST ESTABLISHED BY JOSEPH WEINBERG U/A DATED MAY 11, 1982.


On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Probate Part, Somerset County, Docket No. 02-01078.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 5, 2011

Before Judges Parrillo, Yannotti and Espinosa.

Joseph Weinberg created two trusts for the benefit of his daughters, Lynn Weinberg (Lynn) and Deborah Bort (Deborah), the Irrevocable Funded Life Insurance Trust (the 1982 Trust) and the Joseph Weinberg Revocable Trust (the 1997 Trust). In addition, Joseph named Lynn and Deborah as the beneficiaries of his estate in his will. This is the third appeal brought by Lynn regarding the administration of the 1982 Trust. In this appeal, Lynn requests "a remand of this entire case so all the evidence that was withheld and the evidence in the record can be reviewed and examined, all discovery fully produced, and that a plenary hearing be held on the disputed assets and issues." We affirm.

The facts regarding this estate, the two trusts, and much of the protracted litigation history are set forth in our unpublished opinion following Lynn's first appeal, In the Matter of the Irrevocable Funded Life Ins. Trust Established by Joseph Weinberg, U/A dated May 11, 1982 (Weinberg I), Docket No. A-4036-03 (App. Div. July 20, 2006), certif. denied, 189 N.J. 649 (2007), supplemented in our unpublished opinion following Lynn's second appeal, In the Matter of the Irrevocable Funded Life Ins. Trust Established by Joseph Weinberg, U/A dated May 11, 1982 (Weinberg II), Docket No. A-5836-06 (App. Div. May 12, 2008), certif. denied, 196 N.J. 597 (2008), and need not be repeated at length here.

Joseph was a resident of Florida when he died in March 2001. In 2002, Lynn and Deborah entered into a settlement agreement in Florida that resolved their disputes regarding the estate and the 1997 Trust. That settlement provided that Lynn become the sole executor of the estate, the sole trustee of the 1997 Trust and the sole beneficiary of both. The settlement agreement expressly provided that it was not to affect the 1982 Trust. Norman Warner, who had been appointed trustee of the 1982 Trust in 1999, remained the trustee for the 1982 Trust, which continued to be for the benefit of both Lynn and Deborah. In short, as a result of the settlement, Lynn and Deborah remained equal beneficiaries of the 1982 Trust, and Lynn became the sole beneficiary of the 1997 trust.

Following the second appeal, Lynn moved in December 2008 and January 2009 for various forms of relief. The trial court entered an order, dated February 24, 2009, which (1) denied Lynn's requests that: Warner be directed to pay the indebtedness of the estate, Warner be sanctioned for his alleged failure to protect the value of 23,500 shares of Amerityre stock, Warner be directed to distribute the Amerityre stock and pay her an underpayment of $22,500; (2) directed Warner's counsel to distribute $20,000 of the Trust to the beneficiaries within fifteen days of the date of the order; (3) directed Warner's counsel to satisfy all outstanding invoices for Susan Servis, Esq., if any, for an amount no greater than $760.67; and (4) set a hearing date and briefing schedule as to the third and final accounting, filed by the Trustee.

After Warner filed the third and final accounting for the period of September 30, 2003 to November 1, 2008, Lynn filed exceptions and the court conducted a hearing. By order dated May 7, 2009, the court allowed the third and final accounting as stated, except as provided in the court's "Supplemental Order" of the same date. The court also allowed income commissions to Warner in the amount of $5,043.35 ($4,992.84 of which had been paid) and principal commissions to Warner in the amount of $14,213.20, to be paid out of the Trust. The court ordered reimbursement of all attorneys' fees, to be paid out of the 1982 Trust, including $115,528.94 to Warner's attorneys. The Supplemental Order provided that:

(1) Within thirty days Warner supply Lynn with copies of statements of the Peapack-Gladstone bank account for the period of September 30, 2003 through November 30, 2008;

(2) Within thirty days Warner's counsel supply Lynn with a copy of the ledger sheet from his prior law firm, Laufer, Knapp, Torzewski, Dalena & Sposaro, LLC;

(3) Warner inquire of Amerityre Corp. as to the existence of any stock certificates belonging to the 1982 Trust, with particular reference to Certificate No. 1139, representing 3,300 shares. As soon as an answer is received from Amerityre, Warner shall provide an answer to Lynn and copy the court, but no later than forty-five days of the date of this order; and

(4) Warner inquire as to the Greka Energy shares and provide an explanation as soon as it is received to Lynn and the court, but no later than forty-five days of the date of this order.

Approximately five months later, Lynn filed a motion to enforce the Supplemental Order, for discovery, and sanctions. After hearing oral argument, the trial court entered a final order, dated December 4, ...


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