Civil Action. On Will Construction.
In pursuance of leave granted at the foot of a decree entered in 1922 in the Court of Chancery, the plaintiff in its fiduciary capacity now seeks judicial guidance and instruction with respect to the final distribution of the corpus and income of a testamentary trust originated by the testatrix Frances C. Henderson by her will executed on May 29, 1896.
The testatrix died on January 25, 1897, and it is circumspect to catch a glimpse of her family affiliations at the time of the execution of the will and at her death.
Her immediate kindred were then two daughters. Fanny Von Preuschen, aged 53, was married to Clemens Von Preuschen. Three sons were born of this marriage whose ages ranged from 28 years to 32 years. No other children were ever born of the marriage. The other daughter, Julia B. Adams, was the widow of one Edward White Adams, with two living children, Julia H. Adams, 25 years of age, and J. Pinckney H. Adams, 18 years of age, both of whom were then unmarried.
It was amid such surroundings that the testatrix made the bequests expressed in paragraphs 3 and 5 (there is no paragraph four) of her will. I quote the relevant portions of those paragraphs:
"3. I bequeath to my brother James S. Cox and to the Pennsylvania Company for Insurances on Lives and Granting Annuities in trust for my daughter Fanny one half of all the property, real, personal and mixed, not already mentioned in this will which I may own at the time of my death.
"The interests and profits accruing from the same are to be paid to her regularly as long as she lives, and after her death, if she dies before her children or either of them has attained the age of thirty years (30 years), said interests and profits are to be used for the children.
"As soon as each one reaches the age of 30 his shares and of any accumulated interests and profits is to be paid over to his order.
"I leave to the direction of my said Trustees, to make before that time out of said invested or accruing interests any payments which they may consider necessary for either of said children for its establishment in life.
"Should either of the sons of my daughter Fanny die before the age of thirty (unmarried) his share is to be added to the portions of his brothers.
"5. I will and bequeath to my brother James S. Cox and the Pennsylvania Company for Insurances on Lives and Granting Annuities, in trust for my daughter Julia, the other half of all my property, real, personal or mixed not heretofore mentioned in this will which I may own at the time at the time of my death. The interests and profits accruing from the same are to be paid to her regularly as long as she lives, and if she dies before her children or either of them before either of them has attained the age of 30, the same are to be invested for the benefit of said children until each one has attained the age of thirty.
"As each child reaches the age of 30 (if my daughter Julia is already dead) his or her share of the accumulated interests as well as of the regular income from said moiety is to be paid to him or her regularly. Should either child die unmarried his or her share is to be added to the share of the sister or brother as the case may be.
"As respects the share falling to the daughter, it is not, in case she marries, to be subject to the control or interference of any husband or husbands she may take, and is to be forever free from any debts, charges or encumbrances of any such husband or any liability to his creditors and as respects the share of the son it is to be free, clear and discharged from the ...