The Law School Authority

Hiles v. Garrison Case Brief

Summary of Hiles v. Garrison, 70 N.J.Eq. 605, 62 A.865 (1906)

Facts: The testator died with significant personal and real property.  His only next of kin were his brother Biddle and his sister Caroline.  The will was prepared by the testator but it failed to clearly express his intention.

Issue: Whether a trust has been established by the terms of the will, and if so can a trustee carry out those terms?

Holding: Ct determines that a trust exists.  The residue of the personal property will pass intestate, a trustee will be named by the ct, and a power of sale over the real property will vest with the heirs at law.

Procedure: Wife of the deceased, Ms. Hiles, filed a bill to construct the will and appoint trustee.

Rule: The intent of the testator will be given effect.

Rationale: The clear intent of the testator was to create a trust.  He included terms whereas the income of his estate was to be divided equally between his widow, brother, and sister.  This trust would continue as long as his widow lives or remains unmarried, upon either death or marriage the trust terminates.

The testator made no disposition of the body of the funds after the expiration of the trust, he therefore died intestate as to the residue and it will go to his next of kin. B/c the testator failed to name a trustee does not prevent execution of the trust.  The ct will always appoint a trustee wherever necessary to sustain the trust, and a trustee will be appointed.

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