New York  generally requires that litigants pay their own counsel fees unlike other states which subscribe to the "loser pays" policy. In keeping with this, the Appellate Division’s Third Department has upheld a ruling from the Warren County Surrogate in In Re Hyde 876 NYS2d196. This case involved a dispute between beneficiaries to a trust. A  judicial accounting had been rendered by the trustees with some beneficiaries approving it and others objecting. The trustees successfully defended their accounting and the beneficiaries who had not objected moved to have the legal expenses incurred in the trustees’ defense assessed against the shares of those beneficiaries who had unsuccessfully objected. The Surrogate denied the motion.

The Appellate Division ruled that the Surrogate’s Court was not authorized to charge individual trust beneficiaries of trusts for counsel fees incurred by trustees in defense of the beneficiaries objections to an accounting of the trusts commenced by trustees. New York’s Court of Appeals has previously ruled that section 2110 of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act does not authorize payment for legal services rendered a party to be charged against the share of other individual parties.