Wills and Trusts: Related Cases
|Grey v. Johansson||Slip Copy (unpublished decision), 2016 WL 1613804 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 22, 2016)||This suit was filed after Grey and Johansson entered into a disagreement about who was the rightful owner of Johansson’s late wife’s horse, Navy. Grey was Johansson’s lawyer and was left responsible for caring for and handling all sales regarding her horses after her death. Grey filed suit for fraud and defamation against Johansson after he publicly referred to Grey as a “horse stealer.” Ultimately, the court held that Grey did not produce enough to evidence to establish a case for either fraud or defamation against Johanasson. Although Johanasson did call Grey a “horse stealer,” the court found that this comment was protected by judicial privilege.|
|In re Capers' Estate||34 Pa. D. & C.2d 121 (Pa.Orph.) (1964)||
In this Pennsylvania case, the testatrix directed in her will that her Irish setter dogs to be destroyed in a humane manner. The executors were unsure of what action to take and sought declaratory relief. In attempting to construe the testatrix's intent, the court found that she "evidently feared that either they would grieve for her or that no one would afford them the same affection and kindness that they received during her life." The court found that the intent of testatrix would be carried out if her two favored Irish setters were placed in an environment where they are given the same care and attention that she she gave them during her life. The final question the court grappled with was whether it was against public policy to hold valid a clause in a will directing the summary destruction of certain of decedent's property after her death. The court held that the clause was void as not being within the purview of the Wills Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and being against the public policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
|In re Kulka's Estate||18 P.2d 1036 (1933)||
This action relates to a court order in an estate case. The decedent left a legacy in the form of some timber reserves to the Human Society of Portland Oregon "to be used solely for the benefit of animals." The executor refused to pay the legacy. This is an appeal from a circuit court decision directing and authorizing Andrew Hansen, executor of the estate of Otto Kulka, deceased, to pay the petitioner a legacy from proceeds in the executor's hands. The court affirmed the payment of the legacy.
|In re Searight's Estate||87 Ohio App. 417 (1950)||This Ohio case dealt with a deceased testator's will that bequeathed his dog to a certain person, including $1000 to be used for the care of the dog. The issues in this case were whether the testamentary bequest for the care of the dog was valid in Ohio as a proper subject of a "honorary trust," whether the bequest violated the rule against perpetuities, and whether the bequest was subject to the inheritance tax laws of Ohio. Ohio's Ninth District Court of Appeals held: 1) the testator's purpose was not capricious or illegal, and that such gift, whether designated as an 'honorary trust' or a gift with a power which is valid when exercised, is lawful; 2) such a bequest does not, by the terms of the will, violate the rule against perpetuities; and 3) a succession tax based on the amount of money expended for the care of the dog cannot lawfully be imposed, since the money is not property passing for the use of a "person, institution or corporation."|
|In the Matter of the Application of Richard M. COPLAND, as an Executor of the estate of Lenore Lewis Abels, Deceased||988 N.Y.S.2d 458||Co-executor of an estate petitioned the Westchester County Surrogate's Court for a decree in accordance with EPTL 7–8.1[d] reducing the amount of money to be transferred from the estate to the trustees of a testamentary pet trust established under the decedent's will. Since the decedent gave very specific instructions as to how she wanted her cats to be cared for and the petition was in opposition to the decedent’s wishes, the court denied the reduction.|
|Perpetual Trustees Tasmania Ltd v State of Tasmania|| TASSC 68||
A testatrix bequeathed a part of her estate to be used in support of 'animal welfare'. It was held that this constituted a charitable trust as the purpose was so predominantly charitable that the intention was to be assumed and that even if that portion of the estate could be used for non-charitable purposes, this was in a manner allowed under the Wills Act 1992 (Tas).
|Re Weaver; Trumble and Animal Welfare League of Victoria|| VR 257||
As part of her will, a testatrix left the yearly interest from a capital sum to the benefit of the Animal Welfare League of Victoria. After consideration of the objects of the League, the Court found that the League's activities were charitable and that even if its attention was not devoted to caring for sick animals in need of medical attention, this would not deprive the League's purpose of its charitable intention. The gift was, therefore, deemed a charitable gift.