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U.S. Supreme Court

Johnson v. Washington Loan & Trust Co., 224 U.S. 224 (1912)

Johnson v. Washington Loan & Trust Company

No. 40

Argued December 8, 1911

Decided April 1, 1912

224 U.S. 224


A will contained the following provision:

"It is my will and desire that my said homestead shall be kept and continued as the home and residence of my daughters so long as they shall remain single and unmarried. I therefore first after the death of my wife will and devise the said estate to my said daughters being single and unmarried and to the survivor and survivors of them so long as they shall be and remain single and unmarried and on the death or marriage of the last of them then I direct that the said estate shall be sold by my executors and the proceeds thereof be distributed by my said executors among my daughters living at my death and their children and descendants (per stirpes)."

The testator had three sons and five daughters, all of whom were living when the will was made. The will contained provisions for testator's wife and sons. Four of the daughters married and had children; only one of them married before testator's death, and her children were born subsequently. One daughter remained single and survived all her sisters. Nine years after testator's death, the widow having also died, a decree was entered in a suit in which the daughters alone were parties, directing that the property be sold and proceeds divided among the daughters. In a suit brought subsequently by a purchaser to quiet title against claims of grandchildren of the testator, held that: chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 224 U. S. 225

The provision in the will for the sale of the homestead was for the protection of testator's daughters, and the word "living at the time of my death" may not be disregarded, and the daughters had a vested remainder in fee not defeasible as to any of them by her death leaving descendants before the expiration of the preceding estates.

Although the clause is elliptical, and the provision for representation is not fully expressed, the court finds from this and other provisions in the will that the intent of the testator is clear, in providing for his daughters and their children and descendants per stirpes, to establish the right of those daughters who survived him as of the time of his death and to provide for the representation of any who might previously die.

The purchasers under the decree in the previous suit for sale and division of proceeds acquired a good title under the decree.

33 App.D.C. 242 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of a will disposing of real estate in the District of Columbia, are stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 224 U. S. 232

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