Home > Journals > Michigan Law Review > MLR > Volume 44 > Issue 5 (1946)
Testatrix left a will in which she directed her executor, after paying certain specific bequests, to give the residue of her estate "to some worthy cause or institution." From a decree rejecting the contention of decedent's next of kin that this residuary gift was void for indefiniteness, the next of kin appeal, arguing that the word "worthy" is not synonymous with "charitable," and that, in view of this, the bequest should fail for uncertainty, because testatrix did not specify the particular institution which was to receive the benefit of her bounty. Held, the bequest is valid. This court feels that the problem is one of interpretation of the word "worthy" which can be solved by determining what the word meant to the testatrix and the thought which she thereby attempted to convey. The court finds little difficulty in concluding that the word as here used was meant to refer only to an institution which would fall within the legal definition of a charity, a construction which is justified by the principle that, if there be any doubt, a testator is presumed to intend the meaning which makes his gift legally effective rather than one which renders it of no effect. In re Funk's Estate, (Pa. 1946) 45 A. (2d) 67.
John S. Dobson S.Ed.,
CHARITIES-WORDS NECESSARY TO CREATE A VALID TRUST FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol44/iss5/11