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A testator has a right to dispose of his own property with such restrictions and limitations, not repugnant to law, as he sees fit, and his intentions ought to be carried out unless they contravene some positive rule of law or are against public policy.
By his will and codicil, testator Wilbur F. Claflin gave the residue of his personal estate to trustees to sell and dispose of, including the direction that a payment was to be made to the beneficiary, Adelbert E. Claflin, when he became 21 years and when he became 25 years, with the balance to be given when he became 30 years. The beneficiary, still not reaching the age imposed in the testator’s will, filed a bill in equity to terminate the trust for his benefit, contending that he had the entire beneficial interest in the income of the rest of the estate and that no reasons existed why the same should be longer held by the trustees. The lower court ordered that the bill be dismissed.
Could the beneficiary receive the entire beneficial interest in the income of the rest of the testator’s estate, notwithstanding the fact that he has yet to reach the age imposed in the testator’s will?
The court affirmed the lower court’s decision. The court averred that it was plainly the testator's will that neither the income nor any part of the principal should have been paid to the beneficiary at that time. Even though the beneficiary's interest was alienable by him, the testator's restrictions were not against public policy and were not inconsistent with the rights of property given to the beneficiary. Thus, there was no good reason why the intention of the testator should not have been carried out.