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Bigby v. Vogel

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-29-2012
Case #: A144263
Duncan, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; and Armstrong, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/sites/Publications/A144263.pdf

Trusts and Estates: The passing of a decedent's real property by will to a constructive testamentary trust grants a life estate to the personal representative of the estate, upon which the holder of the life estate is granted all profits derived from the land.

Appellants (Bigsby) appeal a judgment of final distribution. Decedent Vogel entered into an “Addendum to Real Estate Sale Agreement” that granted her a 40% interest in the share of wheat profits. At her death, the ranch and the landlord share passed by will to a constructive testamentary trust per ORS chapter 130. At trial, Bigby challenged the distribution of the crop profits, CRP payments, and forfeited earnest money. The trial court held the assets were personal property and therefore passed to Vogel per the decedent’s will. On appeal, Bigby argued the disputed funds, the postmortem receipts, should have gone to the testamentary trust per UPIA. Secondly, if the will did allocate postmortem receipts, such assets equated to assets in real property and should have been governed by the decedent’s will. The Court of Appeals held the decedent’s will provided for postmortem receipts, therefore the UPIA does not apply. Secondly, Vogel, as the owner of a life estate, was entitled to all profits derived from the use of the land. Thus, the personal representative of Vogel’s estate was entitled to the CRP payment, crop share payment, and earnest money. Affirmed.