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If a trustee delays the assertion of his rights until the statute perfects a bar against him, the cestui que trust will also be barred.
The original holder conveyed slaves to appellee Weems, trustee and his heirs, for the sole and separate use and benefit of the testator's daughter. Appellee, the trust beneficiary's husband, sought to bequeath the slaves to his daughters. The chancellor held that the action was barred by the statute of limitations. Appellant beneficiaries sought review of an order of the chancery court which granted a judgment in favor of appellees in the appellant’s action asking that the executor account for the hire and services of the slaves during the life of the testator.
Did the chancery court err in holding that the action was barred by statute of limitations?
The court affirmed the judgment granted to the appellee executor and trustee. The court held that the appellee trustee was appointed by will, and his estate and interest did not terminate with the life of the trust beneficiary. That the deed of the original holder conveyed the property to the trustee for the trust beneficiary, the deed was not subject to the contracts of any other beneficiary, and it gave the estate to the trustee in fee. The testimony of the appellee indicated that he knew of the appellant’s making of a will and of his attempt to bequeath the slaves before the will was admitted to probate. Additionally, appellee executor then took possession as the executor of the slaves before the will was probated. Therefore, the appellee executor was an adverse holder, from and after the probate of the will. Lastly, the court ruled that the statute commenced running against the appellee, and the appellee did not bring a claim during the six years the executor held the slaves.