Johnson v. Whiton

118 Mass. 340 (1875)



A deed of trust, reciting that the purpose of the grantor was to secure the income of the trust property to his wife and the property to their children, conveyed real and personal property to trustees, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns forever, for the use of the grantor's wife for life; and if she should die before him and intestate, to pay two thirds of the income to him, and one third to his children until his death; and if she should leave no will, then after his death "to convey the same to the person or persons legally entitled." Held, that upon the termination of the life estate of the wife, who left no will, and the death of the grantor, his heirs were entitled to the remainder under the terms of the deed, and that neither the grantor nor his son who died before him, had any interest in the estate which could be levied upon by creditors.


The decedent transferred property to the trustee to hold in trust for his wife and children. After the decedent died, the creditors attached the property for the trustee's debts. The heirs, who were the decedent's child and grandchild, filed an action to require the conveyance of the property and to enjoin the creditors from asserting any rights to it. 


Can the heirs require the conveyance of the property?




According to the Court, the conveyance to the trustee created a trust, the terms of which required that the property be conveyed to the heirs upon the death of the trustee. The trustee had no interest in the property and his creditors had no right to it.

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