Washington Law Review




Robert H. Button died in 1966, leaving two inter vivos trusts. A revocable trust executed in 1940 gave to Button a life estate with the remainder to his mother, Audrey A. Burg. There was no provision in the trust for disposition of the corpus in the event that Button's mother predeceased him. A second trust instrument, executed in 1964, was sent to Button's attorney with somewhat ambiguous instructions with regard to the revocation of the 1940 trust. To resolve the confusion created when Mrs. Burg predeceased Button by thirteen days, the trustee brought an action to determine its obligation under the two trusts. The Washington Supreme Court first found that the 1940 trust had not been revoked or modified by the 1964 trust. The court then held that R.C.W. 11.12.110, the Washington anti-lapse statute, should be applied to prevent the lapse of a gift under an inter vivos trust. In re Estate of Button, 79 Wn.2d 849, 490 P.2d 731 (1971).

First Page