Testator provided that a charge amounting to $16,000 was to be made on certain devised land and that a $5,000 legacy was to be paid to plaintiff educational institution from this sum. Defendant executors reported to the court, in 1921, that the charge had been collected and that the $5,000 legacy for plaintiff had been received. The court ordered them to hold the money in trust until plaintiff might qualify to take it. Actually, as shown by the executor's final report of 1941, no part of the $5,000 had been collected and all the money in the estate had been distributed to the residuary legatees. An equity remained in the devised land, which, the defendants testified, they had believed would cover the legacy when it became due. Because of the 1929 depression, however, this equity was partially wiped out and the defendants subsequently became personally insolvent. A decree was issued ordering the defendants to pay the amount still remaining due on the legacy. On trial for contempt of this decree, the defendants pleaded inability to comply as an excuse. Held, "The impecuniosity of the executors did not excuse their failure to obey the order . . . because the failure to pay it from estate funds was occasioned by their wrongful acts in distributing the assets of the estate." Society of the Divine Word v. Martin, (Iowa 1949) 38 N.W. (2d) 619.
Paul M. Harrison,
EQUITY-FINANCIAL LIABILITY TO COMPLY WITH A DECREE-IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol48/iss6/19