Trusts and Doctrine of Election (Illinois)

By Matthew A. Quick The court in the case of In re Estate of Boyar stated that the doctrine of election applies to testamentary trusts and because the petitioner accepted property under the trust, thus ratifying it, the petitioner is barred from maintaining action to contest last amendment to the trust. The court opined that the rules of will construction apply to testamentary trusts that differ from wills in form but not in purpose or substance. The doctrine of election applies regardless of value of property taken under trust. By taking and retaining property, despite repeated requests for its return, the beneficiary makes a binding election which cannot be negated by later attempting to return the property.