Wills–Sequestration–Acceleration of Life Interest Upon Renunciation of Prior Interest

Testator made an inter vivos agreement in which he promised to bequeath to his son a certain portion of his estate. Upon testator’s failure to comply with this agreement, the bequest actually given, a life interest in sixty percent of the estate, was renounced by the son, who instead elected to receive one million dollars from the estate in settlement of his claim. The will gave a remainder interest for life to the son of the renouncing legatee, testator’s grandson. The ultimate remaindermen of the corpus of this part of the estate were two hospitals. In regard to the remaining forty percent of the estate, 5,000 dollars of the net income therefrom was to be paid annually to the testator’s wife, with the balance of the income and, upon termination of the trust, the corpus to be paid to the same hospitals. These remaindermen, whose interests were diminished through satisfaction of the son’s claim, contended unsuccessfully in the chancery division that the grandson’s life interest in remainder should not be accelerated and that the renounced interest should be sequestered so as to restore the lost corpus for their benefit. On appeal to the superior court, held, affirmed. Since there was not a substantial distortion among the diminished interests of the legatees, sequestration should not be granted. In re Nixon’s Estate, 71 N.J. Super. 450, 177 A.2d 292 (1962).