Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Matter of Estate of Stillman

Decided: June 2, 1965.

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF CAROLINE A. STILLMAN, DECEASED


Fulop, J.c.c.

Fulop

This is an application by Commercial Trust Company of New Jersey, surviving trustee under the last will and testament of Caroline A. Stillman, deceased, for approval of the third intermediate account and supplemental account, for allowances and for instructions. The question on which instructions are asked is whether adopted daughters of a son of decedent are entitled to take under a testamentary gift over to the son's issue.

Caroline A. Stillman executed her will on August 8, 1929 and died on April 2, 1931. She left three children her surviving, namely, a daughter, Ruth E. Stillman, and two sons, Ralph Griffith Stillman and Frank William Stillman.

Ruth E. Stillman survives at a great age, never having married. Ralph Griffith Stillman was born in 1882 and died on November 17, 1950. On June 9, 1914 he married Olive Ley Stillman, who survives. Two children were born to them. Their daughter Frances Ann Stillman died February 27, 1936, at age 15, unmarried and without issue. Their daughter Ruth Stillman Hare is married and survives. She has three children, namely Margaret Hare, an adult, Ralph S. Hare, 19 years of age, and Luise H. Hare, 13 years of age. Frank William Stillman was born in 1892 and died on May 31, 1957. On September 5, 1917, he married Emily Leeds Stillman who survives. No child was born to them. On November 9, 1934, they adopted Margaret Burr Stillman, aged 8, and Elizabeth Jane Stillman, aged 5. Margaret Burr Stillman is married and her surname is O'Neill. Both adopted children survive and are adults.

Testatrix made a number of specific bequests of personalty and gave specified sums of money to named persons and institutions. She also specifically devised four tracts of real property. To her son Frank she gave a farm in Woodbridge on which he then lived. To her son Ralph she gave designated land and buildings in Rahway. She placed in trust for the

use of her daughter Ruth "all my real property, lands and buildings" at Woodmont, Connecticut, and the furniture and furnishings and effects therein, and also "my residence property, lands and buildings known as 'Elmwood' No. 115 Elm Avenue, Rahway, New Jersey, in trust to permit my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman to use and occupy the same during her lifetime." Upon the death of the daughter the real property placed in trust is to be divided between the two sons in fee, with provisions for representation hereinafter quoted with respect to "Elmwood."

The residue of her estate testatrix gave to her executors in trust for the following uses:

"TENTH:

To pay over, transfer, assign and deliver one-half of my said residuary estate in equal shares to my two sons Ralph G. Stillman and Frank W. Stillman, or if my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman does not survive me to pay over, transfer, assign and deliver my entire residuary estate in equal shares to my two sons Ralph G. Stillman and Frank W. Stillman. If either of my said sons is or if both, of them are dead at the time of my death having issue living at my death, such issue shall take per stirpes and not per capita the share of my residuary estate its or their parent would have taken under this paragraph of my will had such parent survived me; if either of my said sons predeceases me and has no issue living at my death the share which such deceased son would have taken had he survived me shall be paid over, transferred, assigned and delivered to the other of my said two sons, or if he is also dead having issue living at my death to such issue per stirpes and not per capita.

If my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman survives me to hold in trust for her the other one-half of my said residuary estate and to pay the net income thereon to her during her lifetime.

At the death of my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman the principal of the trust fund or the remainder thereof, with any income in hand and accrued income, shall be paid over, transferred, assigned and delivered in equal shares to my two sons Ralph G. Stillman and Frank W. Stillman, or if either of them is or if both of them are then dead having issue then living to his or their issue per stirpes and not per capita, or if either of them has no issue then living the same shall be paid over, transferred, assigned and delivered to the other of my said two sons or if the other of my said two sons is also dead having issue then living to his issue per stirpes and not per capita."

Commercial Trust Company of New Jersey and Ralph G. Stillman were named executors and trustees and qualified. Since the death of Ralph the Trust Company has continued as sole surviving executor and trustee. The accounts of the trustee are in order and the allowances prayed for are proper. The instructions sought concern paragraph Ninth of the will, relevant portions of which read as follows:

"NINTH: If my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman survives me I give, devise and bequeath to my executors hereinafter named my residence property, lands and buildings known as 'Elmwood' No. 115 Elm Avenue, Rahway, New Jersey, in trust to permit my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman to use and occupy the same during her lifetime.

If at any time or from time to time during my said daughter's lifetime she desires to have the said lands and buildings or any part thereof sold, I order and direct my trustees to sell and convey the same with the written consent of my said daughter to be expressed by her executing and delivering an appropriate instrument to evidence such consent. In case of such sale or sales I order and direct that one-half of the proceeds of sale shall be added to the trust fund hereinafter created for my said daughter under paragraph 'Tenth' of this will to be held and disposed of as part thereof, and I give and bequeath the other one-half of said proceeds of sale equally to my two sons Ralph G. Stillman and Frank W. Stillman, or if either of them is or if both of them are dead at the time of any such sale his or their issue shall take its or their parent's share thereof per stirpes and not per capita or if either of them is dead at the time of any such sale having no issue then living, the share which such deceased son would have taken shall go to my other son or if the other of my said sons is also then dead having issue then living to his issue per stirpes and not per capita. If at the time of any such sale both of my said sons are dead and neither of them has issue then living the entire proceeds of sale shall be added to the trust fund hereinafter created for my said daughter Ruth E. Stillman under paragraph 'Tenth' hereof and shall be held and disposed of as part of said trust fund.

If said lands and buildings comprising the trust property known as 'Elmwood' aforesaid are not sold during my said daughter's lifetime then at my said daughter's death or at my death if my said daughter predeceases me, I give and devise the same in equal shares to my two sons Ralph G. Stillman and Frank W. Stillman to have and to hold the same to them, their heirs and assigns forever, and I order and direct my trustees to execute and deliver appropriate instrument or instruments to so transfer the same. If either of my said sons is not then living or if both my said sons are not then living, I order and direct my trustees to sell the said lands and buildings known as 'Elmwood'

aforesaid and I give and bequeath the proceeds of sale in equal shares to my surviving son and to the issue per stirpes and not per capita of such deceased son, or if both my said sons are dead to their issue per stirpes and not per capita or if either of them has no issue then living I give and bequeath the same to my other son or if the other of my said sons is also dead to his issue per stirpes and not per capita."

On August 13, 1959 a portion of the "Elmwood" property was sold. It yielded $31,940.68, of which $16,500 was represented by a purchase money mortgage. The trustee has paid one-half of the proceeds into the trust for the use of Ruth E. Stillman, and has paid one-quarter of the proceeds to Ruth Stillman Hare, surviving daughter of Ralph G. Stillman. The remaining one-quarter, which, with interest, now amounts to $9,400, it has held in reserve pending a determination as to who is entitled to receive the same under the provisions of the above-quoted paragraph Ninth of the will.

If there are surviving issue of Frank W. Stillman, they are entitled to receive this fund. As above stated, he had no children born to him but adopted two daughters who survive. They are Margaret Burr Stillman O'Neill and Elizabeth Jane Stillman. If the adopted children are "issue" within the meaning of the will, they are entitled to share the fund equally. If the adopted children are not "issue" of Frank ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.