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In re McKenzie’s Estate
California Court of Appeal
227 Cal. App. 2d 167 (1964)
Robert McKenzie’s will put McKenzie’s residuary estate into a trust. This trust would pay a reward to the person who found both the cause and the cure for rheumatoid arthritis, as determined by the medical board at the University of California Los Angeles. The will did not identify a trustee for the trust. McKenzie’s heirs (plaintiffs) contested the trust’s validity, and the attorney general (defendant) defended its validity. The trial court found that the trust was not a valid charitable trust because it named a single individual as the beneficiary. The trial court also found that the trust was not a valid private trust because the beneficiary was not identifiable and because the reward conditions might take so long to happen that the trust’s gift violated the rule against perpetuities. Therefore, the trial court ruled that the trust failed completely and that the estate’s residue should instead go to McKenzie’s heirs via intestate succession. The attorney general appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kingsley, J.)
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