Byers v. McAuley

In Byers v. McAuley, 149 U.S. 608 (1893), it was decided that a Federal court cannot exercise original jurisdiction in respect to the administration of the estate of a decedent, and that it cannot, by entertaining jurisdiction of a suit against the administrator, draw to itself the full possession of the estate, or the power of determining all claims against or to it. It was, however, decided that where the estate of a deceased person is ready for distribution, but no adjudication has been made as to the distributees, the Circuit Court can entertain jurisdiction in favor of citizens of other States to determine and award their shares in the estate. It is true that the bill filed in the case assailed the validity of the probate of a document which disposed, in favor of two corporations, of a house and lot in the city of Pittsburg. But the trial court gave effect to the document as a declaration of trust, and the controversy on that branch of the case was not pressed on the appeal.