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Taliaferro v. Taliaferro

200 Kan. 573, 921 P.2d 803 (1996)

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Taliaferro v. Taliaferro

Kansas Supreme Court

200 Kan. 573, 921 P.2d 803 (1996)

Facts

While in the hospital, Will Taliaferro executed estate-planning documents including two trusts. One created a trust for Will’s business assets. The second created a revocable inter vivos trust for Will’s personal assets. The personal trust said Will declared the trust established, appointed himself trustee, and accepted and held everything in trust described on an attached schedule, including stock Will owned outside his business, a life-insurance-policy interest, and all his personal property. The trust directed income to Will for life, then directed distribution to Adoria Taliaferro and other named beneficiaries (defendants), with the remainder to Will’s wife, Betty Taliaferro (plaintiff). Will transferred the business stock to the business trust by assigning it to himself as trustee, but he did not assign his personal assets to himself as trustee of the personal trust. About six months later, Will died leaving Betty as his sole heir, executor, and successor trustee. Betty sued to invalidate the personal trust, arguing Will never transferred trust property into it. The trial court found that either Will never accepted and handled the property as trust property or that he effectively transferred it to the trust and later changed his mind, either of which made the trust invalid. The trust beneficiaries appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Larson, J.)

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