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Pickelner v. Adler
Texas Court of Appeals
229 S.W.3d 516 (2007)
Shirley Alpha’s will created a testamentary trust. The will appointed a friend, Robert Pickelner (defendant), as the trustee, and it said that Pickelner should distribute the trust property according to the instructions Alpha had already given him. Alpha had told Pickelner that he would get one piece of real property and that Alpha’s friend, Ian Hurwitz (defendant), would get another. However, Alpha’s instructions to Pickelner had been oral and did not cover all the trust property. Alpha’s estate (plaintiff) filed an action to determine the validity of the trust. The trial court found that the trust did not contain sufficiently clear written terms and, therefore, was void. The court recognized that Alpha had orally intended Pickelner and Hurwitz to be beneficiaries of the trust, but the court found that the law required a resulting trust with Alpha’s heirs (plaintiffs) as beneficiaries. Pickelner and Hurwitz appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Taft, J.)
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