Rogerson v. Wheeling Dollar Sav. & Trust Co

In Rogerson v. Wheeling Dollar Sav. & Trust Co., 159 W.Va. 376, 383, 222 S.E.2d 816, 822 (1976), the Court affirmed the payment of all attorney fees from the corpus of the trust assets where the will specifically provided: In the event of litigation arising, affecting . . . the interpretation and/or construction of this, my last will and testament, or in the event of doubt on the part of my said Trustees as to the interpretation . . . of this trust, they shall have the right to employ counsel of their selection, and to defray their and counsel's reasonable expenses, if any, and any court costs or other expenses imposed upon them in connection therewith, charging the same against the principal of the trust fund. The Court explained: "A trustee is not compelled to act at his peril in the administration of the trust. He is entitled to the instructions of the court as a protection and the trustee can properly pay out of the trust estate the costs incurred in the application to the court for instructions, if he acted reasonably in making application to the court. Scott on Trusts (3rd Ed.), 259. Moreover, the testator envisaged such an eventuality when he included the provision in his will . . . for such payment of legal expenses." (Wheeling Dollar, 159 W.Va. 376, 384, 222 S.E.2d at 822.)