Hanson v. Denckla
357 U.S. 235 (1958)

  • Donner, who was living in Pennsylvania, set up a trust, with herself as the beneficiary.
    • The trust was executed in Delaware, and named a Delaware bank as trustee.
  • Donner later moved to Florida, changed the beneficiary of her trust a number of times, and then died. Her heirs sued in Florida to get the trust declared invalid.
    • The heirs argued that in Florida, there is a law that states that the trustee must be in Florida, since the Delaware bank was not in Florida, it should be removed as the trustee and the heirs should get the money.
    • The bank argued that this was similar to McGee v. International Life (355 U.S. 220 (1957)) in that the bank did business with persons in Florida, and therefore had presence in Florida.
  • The US Supreme Court found for the heirs.
    • The US Supreme Court found that this case was distinguishable from McGee.
      • In McGee, the insurance company went to McGee in California and asked him for business. In this case, the bank never went to Florida and solicited no business in Florida. Therefore they did not have purposeful activities in Florida.
    • The Court found that since the bank did not have a presence in Florida, they could not remain the trustee under Florida law.