Monday, November 11, 2013

In re Estate of Brown case brief

In re Estate of Brown case brief summary
528 A.2d 752 (1987)

Appellant trustee sought review of the order from the Washington Superior Court, which granted appellee beneficiaries' petition to terminate the trust and distribute the trust proceeds to the life tenants.


  • The trustee complied with the terms of the trust and used the trust proceeds to pay for the education of the beneficiaries. 
  • Once the trustee determined that the beneficiaries' education was complete, he began to distribute the trust income to the beneficiaries in their capacity as lifetime beneficiaries. 
  • The beneficiaries petitioned the probate court for termination of the trust, arguing that the sole remaining purpose of the trust was to maintain their lifestyle and that distribution of the remaining assets was necessary to accomplish that purpose.
  • The remaindermen filed consents to the proposed termination, but the probate court denied the petition. However, on appeal, the superior court granted the petition. 


  • On appeal, the court concluded that the superior court's conclusion that the trust was terminable because the material purpose of the trust had been accomplished had an insufficient basis in the findings. 
  • The court held that the settlor's intention to assure a life-long income for the beneficiaries would have been defeated if termination of the trust were allowed so the judgment of the superior court was reversed.


The court reversed the judgment of the superior court and denied the petition of the beneficiaries to terminate the trust.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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