Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The testator’s will poured over the residue of his estate to his lifetime trust which directed the trustee to distribute to named persons certain parcels of real property owned by a corporation of which the testator was sole shareholder.
The testator never transferred ownership of the realty to the trustee and at his death the realty was still owned by the corporation. All the shares poured over to the trust, the residue of which passed to the testator’s widow. The trust beneficiaries of the realty sued the widow as successor trustee seeking to surcharge her for refusing to distribute the realty to them.
The court in Vaughan v. Boerckel, 963 So. 2d 915 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007), affirmed judgment for the widow, holding that the failure to transfer title to the realty to the trustee meant that title remained in the corporation all the shares of which passed to the widow.