Sherman v. Jerome,
120 U.S. 319 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sherman v. Jerome, 120 U.S. 319 (1887)

Sherman v. Jerome

Argued December 17, 1886

Decided February 7, 1887

120 U.S. 319


A clause in a will gave to C the interest of $4000 for life, "the said sum" of $4,000 to be equally divided at C's death between M, S, and J, or so many of them as should then be living. The will appointed P executor for New York and G and D executors for Michigan. G and D, before the death of C, executed a paper and recorded it in Michigan by which they, as executors, "set apart for the benefit of" C and "to be held" by them "in trust for the purpose of paying" said interest, and, upon the death of C, "for distribution" among M, S, and J, a bond and mortgage for $4,000, on land in Michigan, given to the testator in lis lifetime, which was overdue seventeen mouths when the paper was executed. None of the legatees assented to this proceeding or ratified it or waived their rights, nor was it authorized by any order of any court. C having died without the full interest on the $4,000 having been paid to him, his administrator and M, S, and J filed a bill in equity in Michigan against G and D,

Page 120 U. S. 320

as executors, praying for an accounting and for the payment of the legacies. The executors set up as a defense that the bond and mortgage were the sole fund for the payment of the legacy, and that the general estate was not liable for it. Held that the paper was revocable at any time, and did not amount to the decisive and irrevocable act which must exist to have the effect to transmute the property.

Bill in equity. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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