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 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.