Conflict of Laws – Estoppel – Extra-Territorial Effect of Probate Decree

Testator, domiciled in California, by his will created a charitable trust of his residuary estate which included lands located in North Dakota. Under California law, the charitable bequest was valid to the extent of only one-third of the residuary estate. Upon distribution of the trust estate by the California court, the charity appeared and received its one-third of the entire residuary property. The trustee then filed with the North Dakota court, asking that the North Dakota land be distributed in accord with the California decree. Since there was no limitation on the validity of the charitable bequest in North Dakota, the lower court awarded all the land to the charitable devisee. On appeal, held, reversed. By participating in the California hearing and accepting one-third of that portion of the trust estate exclusive of the North Dakota realty to the detriment of the trust estate, the Society is estopped from challenging the California order in North Dakota. In re Reynold’s Will, (N.D. 1957) 85 N .W. (2d) 553.