Anderson v. Wilson – Case Brief Summary (U.S. Supreme Court)

Anderson v. Wilson - Case Brief Summary (U.S. Supreme Court)

In Anderson v. Wilson, 289 U.S. 20, 53 S.Ct. 417, 77 L.Ed. 1004 (1933), Wilson died in 1910. His will directed the executors to sell and convert into personalty his entire residuary estate and to divide the proceeds, as directed.

The will pointed out that the residuary estate consisted largely of real estate and shares in business corporations, "which should not be sold excepting under favorable conditions." It laid upon the executors the command "to hold and manage such remaining portion of my residuary estate until in their judgment it can from time to time be advantageously sold and disposed of, not exceeding, however ."

The executors were further authorized to organize a corporation to convey to it the residuary estate "until in their judgment it can be advantageously disposed of".

The building from which a capital loss resulted was not sold until 1922, twelve years after the death of the testator, and the tax liability in question was for the year 1922.

The Supreme Court concluded that the will worked an equitable conversion and that the ownership and title to the property was in the executors, as trustees, notwithstanding that the will did not convey the title to them.

The Supreme Court was careful to point out that "Our ruling will be kept within the limits of the case before us."