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Shenandoah Valley National Bank v. Taylor

Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia
63 S.E.2d 786 (1951)


Facts

Charles B. Henry died with no children or close relatives, survived primarily by first cousins and other more remote heirs-at-law. Henry’s will devised his estate in trust to the Shenandoah Valley National Bank (Bank) (defendant) and directed that the net income be distributed each year before Easter and before Christmas in “as many equal parts as there are children in the first, second and third grades of the John Kerr School of the City of Winchester” by giving each child an equal share “to be used by such child in the furtherance of his or her obtainment of an education.” One of Henry’s heirs-at-law (plaintiff) commenced an action against the Bank as trustee and executor challenging the validity of the trust established by Henry’s will. The trial court and intermediate appellate court found that the will did not establish a charitable trust. The Bank appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. On appeal the Bank asserted that while it was impracticable to distribute the income directly to the children, the charitable educational purpose indicated by Henry’s intent that the income “be used by such child in the furtherance of his or her obtainment of an education,” could be carried out by directing the funds to a guardian or the children’s parents. Alternatively, the Bank asserted that the trust constituted a charitable trust because it achieves a purpose that benefits the community.

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Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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