Monday, November 11, 2013

In re Gleeson’s Will case brief

In re Gleeson’s Will case brief summary
124 N.E.2d 624 (1955)

Respondent children appealed the decision from the Circuit Court of Christian County (Illinois), which overruled the objection to petitioner executor's report. The objection was that the executor, who was also a trustee, did not return profits from trust real estate to the trust.


The executor was the trustee over farmland of the testatrix. The beneficiaries were the children of the testatrix. The testatrix leased the farmland to the executor and another person as a partnership. They held over for a period of time. The partnership was supposed to pay rent and a partial value of the crops. On appeal, the court reversed. It was undisputed that the executor leased a portion of the real estate to himself as a partner and that the executor received a profit. The executor violated the rule that a trustee could not deal with trust property in an individual capacity and receive a profit.


  • The court rejected the argument that the executor fell within an exception because of his good faith attempt to farm the land after farm tenants could not be found. 
  • First, there was no showing that the executor tried to find a satisfactory tenant. 
  • Second, the good faith and honesty of the executor even where the trust sustained no loss did not take the executor outside of the rule. 
  • Finally, the executor failed to confer with the children concerning the tenancy. Instead, he chose to proceed as a trustee and violated the rule against self-interest.

The judgment in favor of the executor was reversed and remanded.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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