Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

Canoy v. Canoy

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Myrtle G. Canoy died leaving a will devising her farm to her “son, Roger Canoy, for the term of his natural life, and at his death, in ten (10) equal shares to my ten children, and for any that are deceased, to their issue, if any.” Roger Canoy (plaintiff) and his nine other brothers and sisters all survived Myrtle’s death. Roger brought a declaratory judgment action requesting the court interpret the will and declare Roger’s interest in the property.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A Contingent remainder is an interest in property that will vest if a contingent event occurs and if that contingent event occurs, the right to possession will accrue when the interests of the prior tenants end.

    Facts.

    Myrtle G. Canoy died leaving a will devising her farm to her “son, Roger Canoy, for the term of his natural life, and at his death, in ten (10) equal shares to my ten children, and for any that are deceased, to their issue, if any.” Roger Canoy (plaintiff) and his nine other brothers and sisters all survived Myrtle’s death. Roger brought a declaratory judgment action requesting the court interpret the will and declare Roger’s interest in the property.The trial court found Roger had a life estate and ruled only those siblings who survived Roger’s death would take a remainder share. Roger appealed the trial court’s decision. On appeal, Roger and the guardian ad litem for the unborn heirs (defendants) both argued that the trial court impliedly found that the children’s remainder was contingent, but that the court should have found that the remainder interests were vested at Myrtle’s death. They then argued that, if the remainder had already vested when Myrtle died, each child did not have to survive Roger to inherit his or her share.

    Issue.

    Whether the remainder interest was a contingent remainder.

    Held.

    Myrtle divided the property into one-tenth shares to each of her 10 children and included an alternate devise to each of her children’s issue if Myrtle’s child was deceased when Roger died. This clearly establishes her intent that a child take no estate unless the child lives past Roger’s death. Accordingly, each child’s remainder is contingent. The condition precedent for getting a remainder interest in the property is surviving Roger. If the child does not survive Roger, (e.g., Roger himself surely cannot survive Roger), then that one-tenth remainder interest goes to the child’s issue/own children. This means the trial court’s ruling is correct. However, the trial court did not specifically state it was basing its ruling on a finding the remainder was contingent. Regardless, the result would be the same here even if the remainder was vested. Again, if a vested remainder is subject to a condition subsequent that is not met, the remainder becomes completely defeated. Therefore, a child would take a one-tenth share only if the child met the condition of surviving Roger. The trial court’s ruling is affirmed.

    Discussion.

    A remainder interest is contingent when it is subject to a condition precedent, owned by unascertainable persons, or both. A condition precedent must be met before an interest will vest. Further, if a vested remainder is subject to a condition subsequent that is not met, the remainder is defeated.


    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following