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Sibson v. First National Bank and Trust Co.

Decided: April 8, 1960.

GRACE M. SIBSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY OF PAULSBORO, TRUSTEE UNDER THE WILL OF WILLIAM A. SIBSON, DECEASED, WALTER W. SIBSON, AND HIS ISSUE NOT IN BEING, JOSEPHINE S. SCHIMPFT, AND HER ISSUE NOT IN BEING, KIRK SIBSON, KRAIL SIBSON AND JOAN ROOT, DEFENDANTS



Wick, J.s.c.

Wick

The plaintiff has brought this action for the construction of a trust provision in the will of her deceased husband, William A. Sibson. The defendants are the trustee and remaindermen in being and not in being. The disputed provision reads as follows:

"FIFTH: In the event that my wife, Grace M. Sibson, survives me for thirty days, I give, devise and bequeath, absolutely and in fee, all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situate, whether real, personal or mixed, to the First National Bank and Trust Company of Paulsboro, in the County of Gloucester, New Jersey, a national banking corporation, its successors and assigns, hereinafter designated 'Trustee', IN TRUST NEVERTHELESS, for the following uses and purposes:

(A) To pay in quarter-annual installments the net income arising from the said residuary estate, hereinafter designated 'principal', to my said wife for as long as she shall live, such payments to

commence as soon after my decease as may be reasonably convenient for my Trustee, and further to pay to my said wife, freed and discharged from all trusts and uses, as much of the principal as my Trustee in its sole discretion shall determine necessary for her support, health and maintenance."

Following this it is provided that if there is anything left upon the wife's death it is to go to the testator's brother and sister or, if they do not survive the wife, to their issue.

Mr. and Mrs. Sibson were married in 1931. Mr. Sibson died on August 17, 1955. There were no children born of the marriage, nor did either of them have any children of their own. Mrs. Sibson has not remarried. She is now 66 years of age and states that her health is very good.

Mrs. Sibson pays for necessary items such as clothing, household expenses and food from her checking accounts. Taking the first nine months of 1959 as an example, Mrs. Sibson's check stubs for living expenses amounted to $2,654.70, and she said that covered everything. Her check stubs for the year 1958 added up to $3,182.42; for the year 1957 to $4,205.76, and for 1956 to $2,766.48.

Mrs. Sibson is paid social security benefits of $83.30 a month. She receives $100 a month from her husband's former employer, Socony Mobil, which is not taxable income. Her individual dividends, as reported for federal income tax purposes in 1958, were $1,242.60, and in 1957 were $1,174.95, and in 1956 were $906.75. Her income received from the trust, the corpus of which now amounts to about $115,000, was reported at $3,540.60 for 1958, $3,439.76 for 1957, $3,965.79 for 1956, and $3,553.74 for the first nine months of 1959.

Mrs. Sibson's personal federal income tax paid in 1958 was $584.30, when she probably had the benefit of one more exemption by reason of having passed the age of 65 than she previously had in 1957 when her income tax was $686.78 and in 1956 when her income tax was $694.26.

On the above basis, a fair statement of Mrs. Sibson's current annual income would ...


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