Sunday, January 10, 2021
Court Held That The Term “Spouse” In A Trust Meant The Primary Beneficiary’s Wife At The Time Of The Trust’s Execution And Not A Subsequent Wife
When the trust was executed, the sone was married to his first wife. However, after the trust's execution, the son divorced and remarried. The son's children sued the son for breaching fiduciary duties as trustee. Both the son and his first wife filed motions for summary judgment.
The son and the first wife were particularly focused on whether the term "spouse" in the trust agreement referenced the first wife or second wife.
The trial court found that "spouse" referenced the second wife, but the first wife appealed. The son and second wife argued that the term "spouse" referenced a class of the son's current wife at the time and not the first spouse specifically.
The Court of Appeals disagreed finding that the term "spouse" should be construed to mean the spouse at the time of execution and not a future spouse.
See David Fowler Johnson, Court Held That The Term “Spouse” In A Trust Meant The Primary Beneficiary’s Wife At The Time Of The Trust’s Execution And Not A Subsequent Wife, Texas Fiduciary Litigator, January 3, 2021.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.