Robertson v. Robertson
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
48 N.E.2d 29 (1943)
Lillian Pope died in 1931, leaving three children and a grandchild. Lillian’s son, Ernest Pope, was married to Essie Pope (defendant). Lillian’s daughter Grace Morse was married to Alvah Morse. Lillian’s other daughter, Ella Robertson, had a son, Lillian’s grandson, named Ralph Robertson (plaintiff). Lillian’s will left real property to the Morses in a life estate. Upon the Morses’ deaths, the property would go half to Ernest, one quarter to Ella, and one quarter to Ralph, or to their issue in the event of their death. Finally, the will left the residue of Lillian’s estate in equal parts to Ella, Grace, and Ralph, or to their issue in the event of their death. Ernest died in January 1940. Grace died in June 1940 with no issue and with Alvah predeceasing her. Ralph filed a petition to partition the property. The probate court granted Ralph’s petition and partitioned the property to Ella and Ralph in equal shares, finding that Ernest’s half share was a contingent remainder that did not vest. Essie appealed, arguing that Ernest’s share of the property did not fail upon his death.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Field, C.J.)
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