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Wells v. Sanford

Arkansas Supreme Court
663 S.W.2d 174 (1984)


Hiram Wells executed a will, which left his assets in trust for his mother, Nora Wells, during her lifetime. The trust nominated Elvan Sanford as trustee, and required the trustee to use the trust assets “as may be necessary” for Nora’s “support and maintenance.” After Nora’s death, any remaining trust assets were to be given to Elvan and Koleta Sanford. Elvan was appointed as Nora’s guardian after she was declared incompetent. Hiram died before Nora. Elvan (plaintiff) petitioned the probate court for permission to sell Nora’s own real estate assets and use the proceeds for Nora’s support. Nora’s children, J.C. Wells and Irene Bain (defendants), objected, and petitioned the probate court to sell the trust assets and use those proceeds for Nora’s support. The probate court found that Hiram intended the trust to be used to support Nora only if her own property was not sufficient to maintain her support, so that Hiram’s siblings would inherit less, and ordered Nora’s assets to be sold. Nora’s children appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hollingsworth, J.)

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