Matter of Piel
Court of Appeals of New York
884 N.E.2d 1040 (2008)
Florence Woodward established irrevocable trusts in 1926 and 1963. The trusts provided a lifetime benefit to Woodward’s daughter, Barbara Piel. After Piel’s death, the principal was to be distributed by the trustee, Fleet Bank (Fleet) (defendant), to Piel’s descendants as a class gift. The trusts did not specifically identify any of Piel’s descendants by name. Before marrying, Piel gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth McNabb (plaintiff), whom Piel gave up for adoption. It was unclear whether Woodward knew of McNabb’s birth or adoption. After Piel married, she had two other daughters, Stobie Piel and Lila Piel-Ollman (defendants). When Piel died in 2003, the trust principal was approximately $9.7 million. In October 2004, Fleet began proceedings to settle the trust and named Piel’s daughters Stobie and Lila as potential beneficiaries. McNabb was not identified in the proceedings, but she intervened with her two children (plaintiffs). The Surrogate’s Court dismissed McNabb’s claim, but its decision was reversed on appeal. Fleet, Stobie, and Lila appealed the decision of the intermediate appellate court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 708,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 708,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.