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Long v. Crum

Supreme Court of Iowa
267 N.W.2d 407 (1978)


Vernon Long died in 1957, leaving a farm comprised of two parcels of real estate to his widow, Ermabeth Long (plaintiff). Vernon’s will contained a provision stating that he bequeathed to Ermabeth the residue and remainder of his estate “for her use and benefit during her life time, she to have, collect and use the rents and profits thereof.” The will went on to state that upon the death of Ermabeth, Vernon bequeathed a life estate to his children, Margaret Long and Bernard Long (defendants), “or to the survivor of them, as tenants in common, with remainder over in fee to the heirs of their bodies.” The farm did not produce enough income to be maintained, and the value of the property continued to decrease over the years. Ermabeth petitioned the trial court for the sale of the property and the appointment of a trustee to administer the proceeds on behalf of the life tenants and those who were ultimately entitled to the property and proceeds. Both Margaret and Bernard also asked for the real estate to be sold. The trial court appointed a guardian ad litem to represent unknown future interests and claimants, and identified the current tenant, Kenneth Crum (defendant), as well as Margaret and Bernard, as having interests adverse to the sale. The trial court held that the sale was prohibited, and Ermabeth appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (LeGrand, J.)

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