Bryan v. Dethlefs
Florida District Court of Appeal
959 So. 2d 314 (2007)
Charles Bryan, decedent, pursuant to his will, devised his entire residuary estate to a revocable trust. The trust bequest stated, “upon [Charles’s] death, the then balance of principle and accumulated income remaining in the trust fund shall be distributed to [Charles’s] Grandson, Robert R. Bizzell, if he is living at the time of distribution.” The trust stated that if Bizzell was not alive on the date of distribution, then trust assets should pass to Charles’s descendants. Charles died approximately one year later, making the trust irrevocable. Bizzell was the personal representative of Charles’s estate and co-trustee of the trust. Bizzell and his co-trustee began distributing trust assets to Bizzell as directed, but Bizzell died intestate before all trust distributions could be completed. Bizzell’s half-sister, Victoria Dethlefs, then petitioned to have the remaining trust assets distributed as part of Bizzell’s intestate estate, arguing that Bizzell’s interest in the trust assets had vested upon Charles’s death. Frank Bryan, one of Charles’s descendants, challenged, arguing that Bizzell’s remainder interest in the trust assets did not vest until those assets were actually distributed to Bizzell, and that the undistributed trust assets should therefore be distributed to Charles’s descendants. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Dethlefs, holding that Bizzell’s remainder interest in all trust assets had vested. Frank appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lagoa, J.)
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