Monday, November 11, 2013

Dewire v. Haveles case brief

Dewire v. Haveles case brief summary
534 N.E.2d 782 (1989)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff, granddaughter of testator, petitioned for a declaration of rights in the Middlesex Division of the Probate and Family Court Department (Massachusetts), concerning the distribution of her share of her father's trust income after the father's death.

ISSUE

The question before the court was whether the granddaughter took her deceased father's share in trust income or whether the five other grandchildren took the income share equally by right of survivorship.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found that the gift over at the end of the class gift to the grandchildren might not vest seasonably, and thus the rule against perpetuities was violated. 
  • The court maintained that although a will should be construed as if a provision violating the rule against perpetuities was not contained in it, language of the void clause could be used to determine a testator's intention as to dispositions that did not violate the rule. 
  • The court determined that because every other provision in testator's will concerning distribution of income pointed to equal treatment of the testator's issue per stirpes, there was a sufficient contrary intent shown to overcome the rule of construction that the class gift of income to grandchildren was given to them as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. 
  • Therefore the court ruled that plaintiff was entitled to one-sixth of the net income of the trust during the period of the class gift of income until the death of the last grandchild.

CONCLUSION
Judgment was entered declaring the granddaughter was entitled to one-sixth of the net income of the trust during the period of the class gift of income.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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