Monday, November 11, 2013

Howard v. Howard case brief

Howard v. Howard case brief summary
156 P.3d 89 (2007)

Appellant remainder beneficiary challenged a decision from the Circuit Court, Yamhill County (Oregon), which entered judgment in favor of respondent income beneficiary in a trust dispute.


The income beneficiary was married to the settlor. They had trust agreements prepared to replace their earlier wills. After the settlor's death, a dispute arose between the income and remainder beneficiaries. The trial court determined that the personal income, assets, and financial posture of the income beneficiary were not relevant to the administration of the trust. The remainder beneficiary then sought review.


  • In affirming, the appellate court determined that the trial court was correct in holding that the settlor did not intend for the trustee to consider the income beneficiary's other financial resources when administering the assets of the estate. 
  • The provision relating to the payment of net trust income did not reference such a requirement, even though such was explicitly included in other provisions. 
  • The settlor's decision not to provide for his stepchildren circumscribed neither his direction of trust income to the income beneficiary nor his preference for her interest over those of the remainder beneficiaries. 
  • Finally, the trustee was only able to consider other resources for discretionary distributions, and the net income payment in this case was mandatory.

The decision was affirmed.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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