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In Re Estate of Bridges

OPINION FILED MARCH 25, 1983.

IN RE ESTATE OF WENDELL BRIDGES, DECEASED (ROSEMARY BRIDGES, EX'R, APPELLANT,

v.

BILLY BRIDGES ET AL., APPELLEES).



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County, the Hon. J.G. Townsend, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The circuit court of Champaign County overruled the objections filed by Billy Bridges and Timmy Bridges (hereafter objectors) to the final report of Rosemary Bridges, executor of the estate of Wendell Bridges, and approved the report. The appellate court, in an order pursuant to Rule 23 87 Ill. 2 R. 23), reversed (104 Ill. App.3d 1213), and we granted the executor's petition for leave to appeal (87 Ill.2d R. 315).

The testator, Wendell Bridges, was a contractor in the Champaign-Urbana area. He executed a will on May 29, 1979, and died on July 2, 1979, survived by his widow, who is the executor, and the objectors, who are his sons by a prior marriage.

Article FIRST of the testator's will provided that all of his debts, expenses of his funeral and all taxes be paid from the residuary portion of his estate. Article SECOND bequeathed to the executor cash and personalty not here in question. Articles THIRD through FIFTH provided:

"THIRD. In the event that my beloved wife, ROSEMARY BRIDGES, survives me, I do hereby give and bequeath unto her, absolutely, all of my interest in and to the following:

A. All beneficial interest owned by me under the terms of Land Trust Agreement dated December 1, 1976, The Commercial Bank of Champaign, Trustee thereunder, the same being known as Trust No. 43-252.

B. All beneficial interest owned by me under Declaration of Trust dated June 27, 1974, The Champaign National Bank, Trustee thereunder, and known as Trust No. 032-561-003.

I do further give and bequeath unto my wife all of my interest as a general partner under the terms of Limited Partnership Agreement dated June 25, 1974, covering and concerning a limited partnership known as "Sunnycrest Apartments," the same covering and concerning the real estate which forms the corpus of the last described land trust.

FOURTH. If my wife survives me, I give, devise and bequeath unto her absolutely property which is exclusively of such a nature that a marital deduction will clearly be allowed in respect thereto, pursuant to the provisions of the then applicable United States Internal Revenue Code, and which has a total value equal to thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3%) of the value of my adjusted gross estate, as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes, not including, however, in such computation, the value of the property interests herein specifically devised and bequeathed to my wife in Article THIRD above appearing, those interests passing to her as a result of being a surviving joint tenant in a joint tenancy established between us, and also not including any life insurance proceeds payable to my wife as a designated beneficiary under a policy insuring my life, it being my intention and direction that all of the property interests described in Article THIRD, joint tenancy interests and life insurance proceeds shall pass to my wife in addition to thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3%) of my adjusted gross estate, all of such interests plus the interest herein devised and bequeathed, to pass to her absolutely. With regard to property of my estate that shall pass to my wife under the terms of this Article, I direct that my Executor shall have the power to select the property to be distributed to my said wife, but any property distributed in kind shall be valued at its fair market value on the date of distribution. No property shall be used to satisfy this gift as to which a marital deduction is not allowable. This gift shall abate to the extent that it cannot be satisfied in the manner above provided.

FIFTH. In the event that any of my children or their issue survive me, I do hereby give, devise and bequeath my residuary estate to the Trustee and successor Trustee herein named, IN TRUST, for the following uses and purposes:

A. I direct that the Trustee herein named shall divide all the residue of my estate, or the Trustee shall divide the entirety of my estate in the event that my wife has predeceased me, into separate and equal trusts, one trust for each child of mine then living and one trust (on a per stirpes basis) for the then living descendants of each child of mine who is deceased. The share thus attributable to any child of mine who has attained the age of thirty-five (35) years shall be immediately distributed to such child free and clear of the terms of this trust and the share attributable to any child of mine under the age of thirty-five (35) years shall be held and administered as below provided.

The gross estate of the decedent as reflected on Illinois inheritance tax forms was valued at $829,911.98 and consisted of the following:

Cash, deposits, notes & stock $485,185.03 Personal property 12,000.00 Interest in businesses & partnerships 261,795.42 Decedent's joint tenancy interests 52,258.85 Other property, unspecified in the record 18,672.68 ___________ Total $829,911.98

Allowable deductions equaled $53,866.63, leaving an adjusted gross estate for Federal tax ...


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