Mar 18, 2010 Probate and Trusts
Banks v. Pacific Homes Foundation (Mar. 18, 2010, E047364) 2010 WL 985369 [nonpublished opinion]

The petitioner, as successor trustee, sought a determination that a substantial gift to GMSR’s client, Pacific Homes Foundation, had lapsed and that the gift should go instead to residuary beneficiaries, including the trustee. The gift was for the construction of a health care center at the retirement community where the trustors had lived for many years. The probate court agreed with the trustee that the gift had lapsed because by the time the trustors died the center had already been built.

In an unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two, reversed with directions to enter judgment in the Foundation’s favor. The Court adopted GMSR’s argument that (1) a charitable gift should be construed liberally to effectuate the charitable purpose and (2) the gift had not lapsed because it could still be used to pay down the substantial debt that had been incurred to finance speedier construction of the health care center.

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