Harris Trust And Savings Bank v. Beach

513 N.E.2d 833 (1987)


Two trusts were created by Hixon for the benefit of his wife. When he died in 1931 at 69, his wife was 49, and she lived for another 51 years. At that time of her death, the living relatives of Hixon were his grandchildren and the children of his deceased grandchild. The trustees of both the trusts came to court to determine how to distribute the proceeds of the trust. Both trusts provided that when his wife died that the balance of the said trusts were to be divided among the Hixon's heirs. The issue was when were the heirs of Hixon to be determined? The trial court gave the construction to a group of four charities that wanted the heirs determined at the time of Hixon's death. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren argued that the heirs should be determined on the wife's death. The circuit court decided that the Doctrine of Worthier title was an anachronism and should not be applied to the case. The children appealed. The appeals court voided the remainder in Hixon's heirs and ruled that the trust reverted to Hixon's estate and passed under the residuary clause of his will. This appeal resulted.