In re Gleeson’s Will
Illinois Appellate Court
124 N.E.2d 624 (1955)
Con Colbrook (defendant) had been leasing farmland from Mary Gleeson for one year when she renewed the lease for a second year. However, Gleeson died two weeks before the second lease was set to expire. In her will, Gleeson devised her farmland to Colbrook as trustee for the benefit of her children. When the second year of his lease on the farmland expired, Colbrook held over for another year before he leased the land to another tenant. When the question arose as to whether Colbrook breached his fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries by holding over for another year, he defended that he acted honestly and in good faith and that the trust suffered no harm due to the circumstances surrounding rental of the farmland. Colbrook, who had part of the farmland with wheat that needed to be harvested that year, explained to the court that Gleeson’s death occurred just shortly before the new farming year and that it would be very difficult to find good farm tenants to take over the lease on such short notice. Accordingly, Colbrook asserted that his holding over was in the best interests of the trust. The question of whether Colbrook breached his fiduciary duty under these circumstances was appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carroll, J.)
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