A Suspected “Sweetheart Swindle”

Many of our cases involve actual or suspected financial exploitation of the elderly in which a claim is made that someone took advantage of the cognitive and/or emotional vulnerability of an older person to gain financial enrichment from “gifting” of assets, changes in financial accounts, and/or rewriting of estate plans.  While the typical case involves […]

NH’s Updated Power of Attorney Statute

Power of attorney accounting actions are among the most common types of litigation in our practice.  Effective January 1, 2018, New Hampshire adopted a new statute that made some significant changes and refinements to the law.  Here is a recent article in the “Know the Law” series of the Union Leader that discusses the new law.

NH Guardianships – Not Like Those in “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”

On June 3, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver delivered a funny but eye-opening examination of the guardianship process in the United States.  Bringing his trademark wit, John Oliver points out ways in which the guardianship system fails those vulnerable people it is designed to protect.  People who watched the clip may wonder after watching […]

Hodges v. Johnson – Can you still decant to remove beneficiaries in New Hampshire? The statute says yes but the courts say no.

One of the more significant decisions from the New Hampshire Supreme Court as it relates to the area of Trusts and Estates was decided this year.  On January 22, 2018, the Court denied the Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration or Rehearing, thereby finalizing its decision in the case of Hodges v. Johnson.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Retroactive Application of Revocation-on-Divorce Statutes

In an eight-to-one decision, the U.S. Supreme Court approved of the retroactive application of revocation-on-divorce statutes—laws that revoke beneficiary designations and other dispositions to a spouse automatically when a couple divorces.  Since Massachusetts has enacted a revocation-on-divorce statute, the decision has implications for residents of the Bay State. The case involved an insurance policy purchased […]

Important Standing Issue On Appeal

At our request, NH Probate Court Justice Mark Weaver has certified for interlocutory appeal an important standing issue of first impression and the NH Supreme Court has now accepted the appeal.  In In re Estate of Mesiti, the son of the testator filed claims to contest the validity of his father’s last will and testament on alleged […]

Opportunities for Trustees to Limit Statutes of Limitations (Links to Sample Notices)

The MA and NH Trust Codes offer trustees important opportunities to reduce the statutes of limitations for actions to contest trust validity and the NH Code offers trustees an opportunity to reduce the limitations period governing claims of breach of fiduciary duty against them.  Although some of my colleagues worry that taking the steps outlined […]