Loring v. Marshall
396 Mass. 166, 484 N.E.2d 1315 (1985)

  • Hovey died leaving a brother, a sister, and two nephews. She left a testamentary trust that gave life income to her relatives, and when they died, the trust principle transferred to the surviving ones. The final surviving relative was her nephew Cabot.
    • Hovey’s will gave a special power of appointment to her final surviving beneficiary. At the death of the last beneficiary, the principle was to be distributed to the wives and children of the nephews.
      • The nephews’ wives could only get life estates, the nephews’ children would receive the trust principle.
      • Since the other nephew died without marrying, the only person Cabot could give the trust principle to was his son Cabot Jr.
    • Hovey’s will also specified that if neither nephew makes an appointment, then the trust principle goes to some charities.
  • Cabot had a will that gave his special power of appointment from Hovey’s trust (as well as a life income in the trust) to his wife Anna.
    • If effect, he extended the trust’s lifetime, but never used his power of appointment to determine who should get the trust principle.
    • That’s an ineffective exercise of his special power of appointment.
  • Cabot died. Cabot Jr. died. Anna received income from the trust. Eventually Anna died.
  • The trustees petitioned the Court to determine who they should distribute the trust principle to.
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Court found that the trust principle should be distributed to Cabot Jr.’s estate.
    • The Massachusetts Supreme Court found that the charities didn’t get the money because Cabot had left an appointee (Anna), even though he had only appointed her a life income in the trust.
    • The Massachusetts Supreme Court looked to the Restatement of Property § 367, which said that when a special power of appointment is not exercised, the property not appointed goes in equal shares to member of the class to whom the property could have been distributed to (which in this case was only Cabot Jr.).
      • That’s known as the Doctrine of Implied Gift.