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Obermeyer v. Bank of America, N.A.

Supreme Court of Missouri
140 S.W.3d 18 (2004)


Facts

Dr. Joseph Kimbrough was a dentist who attended and later taught at the Washington University Dental School (dental school). Kimbrough gave several unrestricted gifts to Washington University (the university) (defendant) and was very proud of the university and his profession. Kimbrough’s will established a trust for the benefit of his niece and nephews. The trust provided that upon their deaths, the remainder would be given free of trust to the university’s Dental Alumni Development Fund (the fund), which benefited the dental school. Kimbrough died in 1963. The university terminated the fund in 1965 and closed the dental school in 1991, although certain of its dental practice was incorporated into the university’s medical school. Kimbrough’s last surviving niece or nephew died in 2000. Louise Obermeyer and Elizabeth Salmon (collectively, Obermeyer) (plaintiffs), Kimbrough’s great, great-nieces, filed suit for construction of Kimbrough’s trust. The circuit court applied the cy pres doctrine and ordered that the funds be given to the university for two dental professorships. Obermeyer appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wolff, J.)

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