In one case, settlor executed an instrument whereby certain property was conveyed to trustees to pay the income therefrom to settlor during her life and upon her death to convey the principal of the trust estate to such persons as she should appoint in her will, or, in default of appointment, to her next of kin as in intestacy. In addition, settlor reserved to herself the right and power to approve and join in the execution of any conveyance or mortgage of the property. After the settlor died without having exercised the power of appointment, her four children applied as next of kin for an order directing the trustee to distribute the corpus of the trust estate among them in equal shares as remaindermen and for a determination that the surviving spouse of settlor had no interest in the trust fund. Upon the granting of the order by the lower court, the executor appealed on the ground that the limitation to the next of kin bad resulted in a reversion. In a second case involving a similar trust instrument, the settlor alone attempted to work a revocation pursuant to section 23 of the New York Personal Property Law which permits a settlor to revoke a trust in personal property with the consent of all persons "beneficially interested" in the trust. The trustee questioned the validity of the revocation on the ground that. the limitation to tl1e next of kin created a remainder instead of a reversion and, therefore, the consent of the presumptive remaindermen was necessary. The settlor appealed from a judgment denying the attempted revocation. Held, in a combined review of both cases, order and judgment affirmed. Despite the language of Doctor v. Hughes that a limitation to the heirs of a grantor creates a reversion unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, the rule has been limited ,in application, to the extent that it is now merely a presumption in favor of reversions which may be rebutted by an indication of a contrary intent gathered from the instrument as a whole. The reservation by settlor of a testamentary power of appointment over the subsequent disposition of the corpus of the trust estate was a sufficient indication of such contrary intent. In re Burchell's Estate, 299 N.Y. 351, 87 N.E.(2d) 293 (1949).
Daniel A. Isaacson S.Ed.,
FUTURE INTERESTS-INTER VIVOS APPLICATION OF WORTHIER TITLE DOCTRINE- DESTRUCTION OF THE Doctor v. Hughes RULE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol49/iss1/16