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What is the NH Trust Docket?

The Trust Docket was announced by the New Hampshire Circuit Court Probate Division in December of 2013 to make NH the most trust-friendly state. Judge Cassavechia, a long standing judge who has presided in the probate court for over thirty years is now handling cases re-assigned to the Trust Docket as of January 1, 2014. But what is a Trust Docket and how does it work?

What – The Trust Docket is in essence a newly added subdivision to the Probate Division of the Circuit Court.

Purpose – The Trust Docket was created to take on complex trust, estate and probate cases in order to ensure faster resolutions and create a more efficient Court system. The Trust Docket, if used appropriately, should benefit anyone involved in the probate court process by taking time consuming multifaceted cases out of the general probate court docket and therefore allowing the court to attend to the simpler cases on a timely basis.

Types of Cases – The Trust Docket will take on complicated cases included but not limited to cases that contain multiple issues, cases of first impression, cases with numerous parties involved, cases with complex tax issues, and cases that are urgent.

How to get on the Trust Docket – There a few ways to get your case transferred to the Trust Docket. One is for a probate judge to refer a case. Second, one of the parties to a case may request a referral, and lastly by a direct assignment from the Administrative Judge, currently the Honorable David King.

Likelihood of transfer to the Trust Docket – Selection of cases for the Trust Docket will be very strict and at the sole discretion of the Administrative Judge. Currently there is no appeal process for a denial of such a request. Unless a case is very complicated it will be unlikely to make the cut for this very limited option.

Where is the Trust Docket – Litigation of cases in the Trust Docket will usually be located at the 7th Division Probate Court in Dover, New Hampshire. Other options may be available in unusual circumstances.

FAQs – The Court has created a Frequently Asked Questions page for more help.

For more information on whether or not your case is a good fit for the Trust Docket or questions in general about Trusts, feel free to give me, Sarah Paris, a call: 603-943-5647.

Katherine J. Morneau