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Special limitations are created by such words as "while," "during," "as long as," "until," etc. Thus, a grant to A until Z returns from abroad, to a woman while she remains a widow, or during widowhood, to D and his heirs as long as Y has heirs of his body, all are special limitations, not conditions subsequent. Limitations differ from conditions subsequent in that a limitation marks the utmost time of continuance of an estate, whereas a condition marks some event which, if it happens in the course of that time, is to defeat the estate.
Appellee trustee brought an action to determine whether a racial provision in the trust it administered was enforceable, who the trust's proper income beneficiary was, and what the rights were of the private schools who were the income beneficiaries under the trust. The circuit court held that the trust's conditions were unconstitutional and void, granted summary judgment naming appellee primary beneficiary as the sole beneficiary of the trust as long as its school operated, and held that the cy pres doctrine did not apply. Appellant private school beneficiaries sought review of the decision.
Was the appellee primary beneficiary the trust’s sole beneficiary?
The court reversed the trial court's finding that the racial conditions of the trust were unconstitutional and void and that appellee primary beneficiary therefore was the sole beneficiary of the trust as long as its school operated. The court rendered judgment in favor of appellant final beneficiary and held that the trust language divesting the intermediate beneficiaries of their interest in the event they admitted non-white students was a special limitation, not a condition subsequent, and therefore their admission of non-white students divested their beneficial interest and it fell to appellant final beneficiary. The court affirmed the holding that the doctrine of cy pres did not apply because there was no uncertainty regarding the trust's beneficiaries or purpose, there was a valid gift to appellant final beneficiary, and, therefore, there was no need to search for the testator's intent.