Brief Fact Summary. Lester Gilbert renounced his interest in a discretionary trust because it conflicted with his religious beliefs.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The law does not compel a man to accept an estate either beneficial or in trust against his will. When a man renounces his interest in a trust, the remainder interests in the trust will be accelerated.
There must be a voluntary change of residence; the residence at the place chosen for the domicile must be actual; to the factum of residence there must be added the animus manendi; and that place is the domicile of a person in which he has voluntarily fixed his habitation, not for a mere temporary or special purpose, but with a present intention of making it his home, unless or until something which is uncertain or unexpected shall happen to induce him to adopt some other permanent home.View Full Point of Law
Whether the beneficiary of a discretionary trust makes an effective renunciation of that interest even though he has not received a distribution from the trust
Whether the remainder interests in a trust will be accelerated if a beneficiary renounces his interest in the trust
Yes. The beneficiary of a discretionary trust may validly renounce his interest even though the beneficiary has not received a distribution. The beneficiary has a sufficient property interest to make a valid renunciation. He has the right to compel the trustees to make a distribution under certain circumstances. In addition, though the beneficiary was motivated by religious beliefs when he chose to make the renunciation, the court will not inquire into the validity of those beliefs to determine his competency.
When a beneficiary renounces an interest in a trust, the remaindermen interests will be accelerated.
Discussion. An individual will not be compelled to accept his or her interest in a trust, even to preserve a grandchild’s interest in the trust property.