Barrett v. Kapoor
Barrett v. Kapoor, 278 So.3d 876 (Fla 3d DCA 2019)
In this decision, the Court addressed the tension between the vesting of bequests and the settlor's intent. Here, the grantor's trust provided that upon his death, one of his daughters would have one year within which to purchase a piece of property, and upon the sale of the property, provided for the sale proceeds to be distributed to his other two children. It also stated that if one of the children died before receiving his or her share in full, the balance of their share should be distributed per stirpes to that child's then living descendants, or if none, to the grantor's living children.
As these things go, one of the children entitled to receive half of the sale proceeds died after the grantor, but before receiving her share of the trust. She had no children. The deceased daughter's estate argued that her right to the proceeds vested at the grantor's death and should therefore pass to her estate. The Court held that because the trust provided clear and detailed instructions reflecting the testator's intent, and because the property had not been sold at the time of the daughter's death, the net proceeds could not be distributed to her before her passing, and therefore, because she had no children, her share must be distributed to the grantor's surviving children.