Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts

issue of the donor

A trust originated by my great grandmother (the Donor) for my grandfather has as one of the provisions for termination; Or ''upon the death of the survivor of all issue of the donor''...the principal shall be paid to the then living issue per stirpes of (my grandfather). When my grandfather died the quarterly distributions passed on per stripes to my Dad, and my 2 Uncles. My Dad died and my siblings and I receive his share divided equally now. I interpret ''issue of the Donor'' to mean her children. Her last surviving child passed away in '99 while my Dad was still alive but no one informed the trust company. I would like to request termination of the trust based on her issue (children) all having died. Am I right to interpret 'issue of the donor' as pertaining to only her children and not the broader definition of issue which includes all offspring/progeny? I've been told by an atty. that ''issue'' means not only children but all progeny. If this is the case then how could all her issue/progeny have to be deceased before the principal would then go to her son's issue? Her issue using the broad definition would also include his issue so that doesn't seem right. What is your opinion? Should I inform the Trustee and request termination?

Asked on 3/09/05, 6:28 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Re: issue of the donor

Without actually reading the Trust language and the entire trust, no attorney could give you a reasonable interpretation of the langauge of the trust or its meaning. The attorney you spoke to could be correct but the intent is probably as you say. Once your father and his siblings died, it was probable that your grandmother's intent was that the trust be terminated.

I would suggest you contact an attorney familiar with estates and trusts and have him review the Trust and contact the Trust Company.

Please feel free to call me if you have more questions.

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Answered on 3/10/05, 11:45 am

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