ESTATE OF: EDWARD WINSLOW TAYLOR INTER VIVOS TRUST APPEAL OF: CHARLES CRESSON WOOD AND URQUHART A. WOOD
from the Decree June 27, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of
Philadelphia County Orphans' Court at No(s): No. 3563 IV
BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., OTT, J. and FITZGERALD, J.
Cresson Wood and Urquhart A. Wood ("Appellants")
appeal from the Decree entered June 27, 2016, in the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, denying their request
for the issuance of a citation on their petition for
declaratory judgment concerning the termination date of a
trust established by Edward Winslow Taylor, in 1928, as
amended on September 25, 1930. Appellants claim the orphans'
court erred (1) in finding that the orphans' court's
December 7, 2009 Adjudication foreclosed their petition, (2)
in refusing to issue a citation, and (3) in failing to award
the relief requested by the petition for declaratory
judgment. Based upon the following, we affirm.
are the Executors of the Estate of Anthony T. Wallace,
Deceased (Decedent), who died on January 15,
2015. Decedent was the great-grandson of Edward
Winslow Taylor. Appellants filed their petition for
declaratory judgment on May 18, 2016, requesting a citation
be issued to all interested parties to show cause why the
court should not issue a declaratory judgment invalidating
the 1930 supplement ("1930 Amendment") to the
Edward Winslow Taylor Inter Vivos Trust ("Taylor
Trust"), and an order compelling distribution of one
quarter of the Taylor Trust to the Estate of Anthony T.
orphans' court summarized the background of this case, as
The executors of the Anthony T. Wallace Estate
("executors") are appealing this court's
refusal to issue a citation on their petition for declaratory
judgment concerning the termination date of a trust
established by decedent's great-grandfather, Edward
Winslow Taylor, in 1928, as amended in September 25, 1930
("1930 Amendment"). Prior to his death, Anthony
Wallace had been an income beneficiary of this trust and had
entered into a Family Agreement dated August 12, 2009 and
approved by this court's December 7, 2009 adjudication.
With their Family Agreement, the trust beneficiaries
unanimously agreed that the trust would continue until it
terminates in 2028 pursuant to the 1930 Amendment. The
executors nonetheless seek to reopen this issue by seeking an
interpretation of the trust document of 1928 and its 1930
Amendment to assert that the trust terminated in 2008.
Because the issue raised in the executor[s'] petition has
been definitively settled by the Family Agreement approved by
the 2009 adjudication under the provisions of the
Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act, their petition is without
merit. It was properly denied as raising a moot issue.
On August 12, 2009, Wachovia Bank, as trustee of the Edward
Winslow Taylor Trust ("Taylor Trust"), filed an
account of its administration of the trust covering the
period May 23, 1980 through May 4, 2008. Its reason for
filing the account was the death of Edward Taylor's only
grandchild, Frank R. Wallace, Jr., who was the income
beneficiary of the trust as well as its individual
co-trustee.1 In filing the account, Wachovia set
forth its interpretation of the dispositive terms of the
trust that Edward Winslow Taylor established on February 9,
1928, for the initial benefit of his daughter Anna Taylor
Wallace. It noted that the Trust Agreement was amended on
April 20, 1928, on September 25, 1930 and on March 20, 1933.
According to the Trustee, the dispositive terms of the Trust
are set forth in paragraph 3 of the September 25, 1930 trust
amendment. It noted that the net income was to be distributed
to the settlor's daughter, Anna Taylor Wallace, for her
lifetime. Upon her death, the net income was to be
distributed among the persons she chose to appoint under her
will. Anna Wallace exercised this power of appointment in her
will by providing that her only child, Frank R. Wallace,
should receive all the net income during his lifetime. The
trustee noted that the Trust is "to terminate 20 years
after the death of the last survivor of the Settlor, Anna
Taylor Wallace, Frank Rich Wallace (Anna Taylor Wallace's
husband) and Frank R. Wallace, Jr." With the death of
Frank R. Wallace, Jr. on May 4, 2008, the trustee concluded
that the Trust will terminate on May 4, 2028.2
Until that termination date, the income of the trust was to
be distributed to the four surviving children of Frank R.
Anthony T. Wallace
Elise W. Carr
W. Sewell Wallace
Christopher G. Wallace
None of these issue was given a power of appointment by the
Taylor trust documents. Only the settlor's daughter, Anna
Taylor Wallace, was granted the power to appoint the net
income of the trust by her last will.3
1 8/12/2009 Edward Winslow Taylor Account
(hereinafter 2009 Account), Petition for Adjudication, ¶
2 2009 Account, Petition for Adjudication,
Attachment to Paragraph 9.
3 1928 Deed of trust, Paragraph SECOND; 1930
Amendment, Paragraph 3(b).
As an issue for adjudication, the trustee in 2009 sought
court approval of a Family Agreement to modify the trust
pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act, 20 Pa.C.S.A.
section 7740.1(b). In so doing, the trustee characterized the
Family Agreement as seeking "to divide the Trust, as
permitted with Court approval under Section 7740.1(b) of the
UTA, into four separate equal Trusts - one Trust of each of
the surviving children of Frank R. Wallace, Jr. and to
appoint each of the children as a Co-Trustee with Petitioner
of his or her separate Trust until each Trust
terminates on May 4, 2028, 20 years from the death of Frank
R. Wallace Jr."4
4 2009 Account, Petition for Adjudication,
Attachment to Paragraph 13 (emphasis added).
A copy of the 2009 Family Agreement was presented with the
Account. It was signed by all parties in interest, who were
the four children of Frank R. Wallace, Jr. In addition, it
was signed by all of Frank Wallace Jr.'s grandchildren.
The Family Agreement specifically states that "paragraph
3 of the September 25, 1930 supplement of the Trust provides
for the disposition of the income and principal of the
Trust."5 It also specifies that the Trust
terminates on May 4, 2028 which is 20 years after the death
of Frank R. Wallace Jr.6
5 8/12/2009 Family Agreement, ¶ A(2).
6 8/12/2009 Family Agreement, ¶¶ A(2).
No objections were filed to the account. This court therefore
confirmed the account by adjudication dated December 7, 2009
("2009 Adjudication") and approved the Family
Agreement. In so doing, this adjudication twice reiterated
that the trust terminates on May 4, 2028. The adjudication in
addition approved the distribution of principal as follows to
the following four trusts:
Trustees of the Anthony T. Wallace Trust ...