A charitable trust is created only if the settlor properly manifests an intention to create a charitable trust. Charitable purposes include: (a) the relief of poverty; (b) the advancement of education; (c) the advancement of religion; (d) the promotion of health; (e) governmental or municipal purposes; and (f) other purposes the accomplishment of which is beneficial to the community.
The testator left no children or near relatives. Those who would be his heirs and distributors in case of intestacy were first cousins and others more remotely related. One of these next of kin filed a suit against the executor and trustee, and others challenging the validity of the provisions of the will which undertook to create a charitable trust by directing the trustee to divide the trust income among students at an elementary school twice a year. Appellants, executor and trustee, sought review of the judgment of the trial court, which, in a suit filed by appellee heirs and distributors, held that a trust created by the testator's will was not charitable but a private trust and thus void as violative of the rule against perpetuities.
Did the testator's will create a charitable trust?
The court affirmed and held that while the testator's intent in arranging payments to school children on two occasions specified would bring to them pleasure and happiness and no doubt cause them to remember or think of their benefactor with gratitude and thanksgiving, it was not for the relief of the poor or needy, nor did it otherwise so benefit or advance the social interest of the community as to justify its continuance in perpetuity as a charitable trust.