Steere v. Phillips, No. 1398.

CourtRhode Island Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtCAPOTOSTO, Justice.
Citation200 A. 970
PartiesSTEERE et al. v. PHILLIPS et al.
Decision Date08 July 1938
Docket NumberNo. 1398.
200 A. 970

STEERE et al.
v.
PHILLIPS et al.

No. 1398.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

July 8, 1938.


200 A. 971

Certified from Superior Court, Providence and Bristol Counties.

Suit for construction of will by William S. Steere and another against Mary E. Phillips and others. The cause being ready for hearing for final decree was then certified to the Supreme Court for determination in accordance with the provisions of Gen.Laws 1923, c. 339, § 35.

Decree directed to be entered in superior court in accordance with opinion.

Haslam, Arnold & Sumpter, Charles R. Haslam, and Harry A. Tuell, all of Providence, for complainants. Edward W. Day, of Providence, for respondents.

CAPOTOSTO, Justice.

&gt

This is a bill in equity for the construction of the second paragraph of the will of Mary E. Alverson, late of the city of Providence. The complainant, William S. Steere, is one of the devisees under that paragraph and the only other complainant is his wife, whose sole interest is such as she may have by virtue of her dower rights. The various respondents are all of the persons known who have any possible present interest in the real estate in question, either under the will or as heirs at law of the testatrix. A representative of contingent interests of persons not in being or not ascertainable was duly appointed. After the pleadings were closed, an agreed statement of facts, to which we will later refer, with a certified copy of the will annexed thereto, was filed by the parties in interest. The cause being ready for hearing for final decree was then certified to this court for determination, in accordance with the provisions of general laws 1923, chap. 339, sec. 35.

The testatrix died November 25, 1884, leaving the above-mentioned will which was dated "this day of November A. D. 1884" and was admitted to probate in Providence, December 30, 1884.

The second paragraph of the will, which we are asked to construe, reads as follows: "Second. I give devise and bequeath to my brother William Russell Steere one half of my house at 66 Federal street and to my nephews William S. and David Howard Steere the other half of said house and estate, that is, one quarter each."

The bill of complaint alleges that there is doubt as to the nature of the estates devised by the second paragraph by reason of the

200 A. 972

provisions of the seventh and eighth paragraphs of the will, which follow:

"Seventh. In the event of the decease of my brother William R. Steere, if without issue, then the estate devised to him shall pass to and be inherited by my nephews the said William S. and David Howard Steere, but if the said William Russell should have children or a child, then the said estate shall be inherited by said child or children of said William R."

"Eighth. It is hereby declared that the estates above devised are given upon the following conditions, namely; that no one of the above named devisees, shall sell, mortgage, hypothecate or otherwise anticipate the rents, profits, benefits or income of the said estates, but shall enjoy the regular income from the said estates during their natural lives."

The questions raised by the bill of complaint which have been duly certified to this court are as follows: "1. Did the devisees named in paragraph 'Second' of said will take interests in fee simple, or merely life estates in the real estate described therein? 2. If said devisees took interests in fee simple in said real estate, who are the present owners of said real estate and in what proportions? 3. If said devisees took merely life estates, in whom are the remainder interests and in what proportion?"

Public Statutes of Rhode Island, 1882, chap. 182, sec. 5, now G.L.1923, chap. 298,...

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6 practice notes
  • Commercial Trust Co. of N. J. v. Clinton, No. 1997
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • April 14, 1950
    ...A. 428; Newport Hospital v. Harvey, Page 838 49 R.I. 40, 139 A. 659; Turner v. Turner, R.I., 161 A. 115; Steere v. Phillips, 61 R.I. 232, 200 A. 970. In the McLaughlin case the rule relied on by the executors here was applied, while in the Turner case the court resorted to the rule now bein......
  • Ryan v. Estate of Ryan, K.P. 08-752
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • May 28, 2009
    ...to every portion of the will reconciling, if it fairly may be done, clauses susceptible of inconsistent construction." Steere v. Phillips, 200 A. 970, 972-73 (R.I. 1938). "If it can fairly be done, a later clause in a will will be so construed as to affirm and not to contradict an earlier c......
  • Ryan v. Estate of Ryan, K.P. 08-752
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • May 28, 2009
    ...to every portion of the will reconciling, if it fairly may be done, clauses susceptible of inconsistent construction." Steere v. Phillips, 200 A. 970, 972-73 (R.I. 1938). "If it can fairly be done, a later clause in a will will be so construed as to affirm and not to contradict an earlier c......
  • Ryan v. Estate of Ryan, K.P. 08-752
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • May 28, 2009
    ...to every portion of the will reconciling, if it fairly may be done, clauses susceptible of inconsistent construction." Steere v. Phillips, 200 A. 970, 972-73 (R.I. 1938). "If it can fairly be done, a later clause in a will will be so construed as to affirm and not to contradict an earlier c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Commercial Trust Co. of N. J. v. Clinton, No. 1997
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • April 14, 1950
    ...A. 428; Newport Hospital v. Harvey, Page 838 49 R.I. 40, 139 A. 659; Turner v. Turner, R.I., 161 A. 115; Steere v. Phillips, 61 R.I. 232, 200 A. 970. In the McLaughlin case the rule relied on by the executors here was applied, while in the Turner case the court resorted to the rule now bein......
  • Ryan v. Estate of Ryan, K.P. 08-752
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • May 28, 2009
    ...to every portion of the will reconciling, if it fairly may be done, clauses susceptible of inconsistent construction." Steere v. Phillips, 200 A. 970, 972-73 (R.I. 1938). "If it can fairly be done, a later clause in a will will be so construed as to affirm and not to contradict an earlier c......
  • Ryan v. Estate of Ryan, K.P. 08-752
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • May 28, 2009
    ...to every portion of the will reconciling, if it fairly may be done, clauses susceptible of inconsistent construction." Steere v. Phillips, 200 A. 970, 972-73 (R.I. 1938). "If it can fairly be done, a later clause in a will will be so construed as to affirm and not to contradict an earlier c......
  • Ryan v. Estate of Ryan, K.P. 08-752
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • May 28, 2009
    ...to every portion of the will reconciling, if it fairly may be done, clauses susceptible of inconsistent construction." Steere v. Phillips, 200 A. 970, 972-73 (R.I. 1938). "If it can fairly be done, a later clause in a will will be so construed as to affirm and not to contradict an earlier c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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