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Ginns v. Topkis

Court of Chancery of Delaware

April 27, 1951

GINNS et al.
v.
TOPKIS et al.

Proceeding by Oscar Ginns, trustee, and Delaware Trust Company, a corporation of the State of Delaware, co-trustee by appointment of the Chancellor, under the will of William Topkis, deceased, against Vitelia Topkis, and others for instructions of the court as to the administration of the trust created by testator's will. The Court of Chancery, Seitz, Vice Chancellor, held that under terms of will, provision for payment of $5,000 of trust income in semi-annual installments to testator's wife during her life did not create an annuity chargeable on income generally which would authorize use of surplus to make up any arrearages in payment of income to wife.

Order in accordance with opinion.

Where testator directed that $5,000 of trust income be paid to wife as life beneficiary, in semi-annual installments and in addition to other income bequests provided that trustee should pay from balance of net income sum of $500 to each nephew or niece of testator and each nephew or niece of testator's wife on their marriage as a wedding gift, payment of wedding gifts to continue only as long as testator's wife should live, $500 payment to nieces and nephews who had married could be paid in any year or years when there was sufficient surplus net income during such periods available for such payment, even though there was insufficient income to pay them at time of their marriages.

[32 Del.Ch. 100] William Poole of Southerland Berl & Potter, Wilmington, for plaintiffs.

Henry M. Canby, of Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, for Wilmington Gen. Hospital Ass'n., Inc.

Caleb S. Layton, of Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, for Delaware Hospital, Inc.

Robert H. Richards, Jr., of Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, for Homeopathic Hospital Ass'n. of Delaware.

Robert B. Walls, Jr., Wilmington, for Betty Topkis Schiff and Jack Topkis.

Alexander L. Nichols, of Morris, Steel, Nichols & Arsht, Wilmington, for Family Soc., Inc.

Page 501

Thomas Herlihy, Jr. and Herman Cohen, Wilmington, for Jacob Henry Topkis and Perry Topkis, individually and as Ex'rs. under the will of Harry Topkis, deceased.

[32 Del.Ch. 101] David S. Keil, of Keil & Keil, and Abraham Hoffman, Wilmington, for The Jewish Welfare Soc., Inc.

Lighton S. Dorsey, Wilmington, for Esther Topkis Potts.

Thomas Muncy Keith, Wilmington, for Oscar Ginns, Trustee for Vitelia Topkis.

Joseph H. Flanzer, Wilmington, for Orthodox Adas Kodesch ...


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