Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kendall County, Sixteenth
Judicial Circuit; the Hon. ROBERT J. SEARS, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE SEIDENFELD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Plaintiff appeals from a declaratory judgment involving the interpretation of an antenuptial agreement. The trial court, ruling on a motion to strike the complaint, entered its decree and judgment on the merits, interpreting the contract, and holding that the plaintiff was entitled to a life estate in the real estate owned by the decedent and to the proceeds of an insurance policy, but was barred by the antenuptial agreement from inheriting an intestate's share of decedent's estate.
The ruling by the trial court admitted the pleaded facts that the decedent and his wife, the plaintiff, had entered into an antenuptial agreement before their marriage and that each had been married before and each had children by the previous marriage. It was also admitted that the decedent died intestate and that he did not make the plaintiff the beneficiary of the insurance policy.
"This antenuptial contract entered into this 14th day of December, A.D., 1960, between Gilbert M. Genung, hereinafter for convenience referred to as husband, and Eleanor K. Kauth, hereinafter for convenience referred to as wife, witnesseth:
"1. Husband and wife intend to marry each other soon, and it is agreed that after such marriage, all the properties of any name or nature, real, personal or mixed, wherever they may be found, belonging to the husband before marriage shall be and remain forever, his personal estate, and that this shall include all interest, rents and profits which may in time accrue or result in any manner from increase in value, or be collected for the use of the same in any way.
"2. All properties of any name or nature, real, personal or mixed, wherever the same may be found which belong to wife before marriage shall be and remain forever her personal estate, and this shall include all interest, rents and profits which may in time accrue or result in any manner from increase in value, or be collected for the use of the same in any way.
"3. Each party agrees to sign with the other all title papers, deeds or other papers, necessary to transfer property when sold to a purchaser, as such title papers are usually executed by a man and wife in the State of Illinois.
"4. Husband agrees to, from his own personal estate, assume necessary expense of support and maintenance of wife.
"5. Nothing herein shall be construed to be a bar to either party to this agreement, giving any property of which they may be possessed to the other party by Will or otherwise. Each party to this agreement shall control their personal estate, as described herein, and do with the properties thereof whatsoever they wish and will, by his or her orders or directions, or by Will, the same as either party could or would do if no marriage relation existed between them, except that the husband agrees that he will devise to the wife, a life interest for and during the period of her natural life only, in his twenty-six acre farm located approximately three (3) miles West of Yorkville on North River Road.
"6. It is also agreed that the husband has a policy of insurance in the amount of Two Thousand ($2,000.00) Dollars in the Modern Woodman of America, policy # E 245 202. He will make the wife beneficiary of this policy of insurance and the proceeds of said insurance are to be used, first for the payment of the husband's burial expenses, and any balance is to go to the wife as beneficiary of the policy as her own property. The husband also has a policy of insurance in the amount of Six Thousand ($6,000.00) Dollars, which was taken out through the Public Service Company when he was employed by that company. The husband will make the wife beneficiary of this Six Thousand ($6,000.00) Dollar insurance policy with Group 2025 Certificate E 61, Policy # ____ and the proceeds of said policy shall belong to the wife as her separate property in the event of the death of the husband. All other insurance and other property of the husband, may be left by him to his own children.
"IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto have set their hands and seals the day and ...