Vogt v. Graff & Vogt,
222 U.S. 404 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Vogt v. Graff & Vogt, 222 U.S. 404 (1912)

Vogt v. Graff & Vogt

No. 73

Argued November 17, 1911

Decided January 9, 1912

222 U.S. 404


The rule in Shelley's Case is a rule of property in the District of Columbia, and the question for this Court to determine is not whether it has or has not a legal foundation, or is or is not a useful rule of property, but whether it applies to the case in controversy.

Where the testator directs that, on the sale of his real estate, the proceeds be divided and paid over to his heirs at once, except the share of a specified heir which shall be paid to trustees to be by them invested, the income thereon to be paid to such heir, the principal to be paid to his heirs after his death, the application of the rule in Shelley's Case would destroy the radical distinctions intended by the testator, and the rule does not apply.

Notwithstanding the peremptory force of the rule in Shelley's Case, where there are explanatory and qualifying expressions showing a clear intention of the testator to the contrary, the rule must yield and the intention prevail. Daniel v. Whartenby, 17 Wall. 639.

A condition of the rule in Shelley's Case is that the particular estate and the estate in remainder must be of the same quality, both legal or both equitable, and where the former is equitable and the latter is legal, the rule does not apply, and the two estates do not merge.

Quaere whether in the case at bar the estate in remainder is legal or equitable.

Quaere whether the rule in Shelley's Case is applicable to personal property.

33 App.D.C. 356 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of a will made by a resident of the District of Columbia, are stated in the opinion.

Page 222 U. S. 408

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