Henry Benjamin’s will created a marital trust for the benefit of his wife, Germaine Cromwell. The will provided Cromwell a power of appointment. Cromwell, pursuant to an agreement with the trustee, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company (trust company), appointed the remainder of the marital trust to two hospitals. The Benjamins (plaintiffs) brought an action against the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company (defendant) to invalidate Cromwell’s exercise of the power of appointment, arguing that the appointments were made contrary to New York law, which prohibits entering into a contract to make an appointment. The lower court granted summary judgment in favor of the trust company, finding that Cromwell’s exercise of her power of appointment was valid. The Benjamins appealed.