Who Gets the Tickets? Disputing a Bare Trust

Complex client estate disputes can often begin over the simplest things, like a pair of seasonal tickets.

That exact situation was covered in a recent article by All About Estates, in which the passing of Mr. Chaim Neuberger caused friction between his daughter, Edie, and his company, Nuspor, over a pair of seasonal tickets for the Toronto Maple Leafs.


The Dispute


Mr. Neuberger had purchased the Toronto Maple Leafs tickets 50 years prior to his passing under his own name, and while Nuspor’s claim to the tickets seemed superfluous at first, the court did not think so:


  • Nuspor disputed that Mr. Neuberger was merely holding them in trust, since companies were not permitted to sign their name to tickets in the late 1960’s.


  • Evidence submitted by Harry Sporer, a partner of the deceased, and others showed that the tickets had been paid for by the company and purchased with the intent to be used for business purposes.



So, Who Got the Tickets?


The court ultimately considered the tickets to be held in a bare trust by Mr. Neuberger and the property of Nuspor based upon three components:


  1. Certainty of intention: to hold the tickets in Nuspor’s name.

  2. Certainty of benefit: to help Nuspor treat its clients and leaders.

  3. Certainty of object: that Chaim Neuberger held the tickets in his name, and nothing else.


The conditions surrounding a purchase money resulting trust, a situation in which one person pays for something but the title is recorded in another person’s name, also helped to confirm Nuspor’s argument:


  1. The trustee must have title to the property.

  2. The claimant must have supplied the whole or a part of the purchase price at the time the property was being bought.

  3. The claimant must prove throughout he acted as purchaser.


Ms. Neuberger fought Nuspor’s claim unsuccessfully, despite her recent success winning a larger inheritance from her father’s estate.


For professionals working with clients and their estates, the potential existence of similar bare trusts should be considered.


For free client-friendly checklists and resources which help avoid details like bare trusts getting overlooked, visit ERAssure.com today.

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