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The beneficiaries of a trust, if all consent and none is under an incapacity, can compel its termination if the continuance of the trust is not necessary to carry out a material purpose of the trust, although the period fixed by the terms of the trust for its duration has not expired.
Petitioner, Carrie Louise Bellows, was a beneficiary under two wills. One was that of her father; the other was that of her aunt. In the father’s will, he left all of his property to his wife and petitioner. The mother was held as the trustee. On the other hand, the aunt, in her will, provided that the petitioner beneficiary's share should have been held "in trust" for her by her mother. It imposed no duties upon the trustee, it clothed her with no discretionary powers, and no action on her part was required in order to effectuate any discernible purpose which the testatrix may have had in mind when she created the trust. Petitioner's mother, having served as trustee under both wills, died and the present defendant, John M. Page, was her successor. Petitioner sought review of the decision of the trial court in reference to the wills made by her aunt and her father that left the beneficiary’s shares "in trust."
Did the plaintiff have the rights as to the said trust funds with respect to both principal and income?
The will gave the beneficiary the full equitable title to the trust fund, both for life and in remainder. She was the only person with any interest in it. All interests are joined in her and she is the sole owner thereof. Under these circumstances the right of the plaintiffs to have the trust terminated seems to be clear. The beneficiaries of a trust, if all consent and none is under an incapacity, can compel its termination if the continuance of the trust is not necessary to carry out a material purpose of the trust, although the period fixed by the terms of the trust for its duration has not expired. The court held that the trust created by the will of the beneficiary's aunt was executed, and that the beneficiary was entitled, without further proceedings, to the full legal title to all the property, real or personal, held by the trustee under that will. The trust created by the beneficiary's father, however, gave the trustee the power to use the income and principal as may have been necessary for the beneficiary's maintenance. But the court declined to construe the father's will on the issue of the termination of the trust thereby created until the facts constituting such evidence were passed upon by the trial court and transferred.