In re Margaret L. Matthews Revocable TrustAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying Nebraska Synod (Synod) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's complaint in intervention after a county court determined that the Synod was not Pella Evangelical Lutheran Church's charitable successor and assign, holding that the Synod did not prove it was a charitable successor of Pella.
Before her death, Margaret L. Matthews established and amended a revocable trust wherein she made three bequests - one each to the Salvation Army and the Visting Nurse Association (VNA) and one to Pella. Each bequest encompassed the named beneficiary, as well as its charitable successors and assigns. Wells Fargo Bank, N.C., as trustee, filed a petition for declaratory judgment concerning Pella's existence. The county court ordered that Pella's share of the trust property be distributed pro rata to the Salvation Army and the VNA after concluding that Pella had ceased to exist and that Synod was not an appropriate successor to Pella. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Synod's assigned errors were without merit.