What happens if the settlor expresses clear intent to amend her trust, but fails to sign the written amendment before she passes? This scenario recurs with some frequency and estate planners should bear in mind that, depending on the language of the governing instrument and the circumstances, non-execution affirmation of the amendment may be sufficient. […]
In cases involving the construction or validity of an estate plan, the testimony of counsel who prepared the plan often is pivotal – for good or ill. Such was the case in Tay v. Grondin in which we defended the Trustee from an action seeking to remove and surcharge him for alleged mismanagement of the sale of a […]
A surviving spouse generally has six months from the date of appointment of the administrator to waive the provisions of the Will and take instead his/her elective share of one-third of the probate estate. Does that six-month deadline begin to run anew if the current Will is determined to be invalid and the prior Will […]
I recently published an article about Estate of Kathleen Mullin, a New Hampshire Supreme Court decision in a case Ralph Holmes and I argued, which expresses some important law on the jurisdiction on trust administration. It was a published web extra for the New Hampshire Bar News. To read the full article, click here.
Published in NH Bar News (3/20/2017) Testamentary in terrorem provisions, which compel forfeiture by a legatee upon unsuccessful challenge to the validity of an estate plan and/or its administration, have a rich history with antecedents in the ancient world and English and American case law as far back as 1674 and 1898 respectively. See Beyer, […]
It’s a situation that estate planning petitioners sometimes encounter: a relative of a recently deceased client requests a copy of the attorney’s file relating to the execution of the decedent’s will. Sometimes it’s the proponent of the will. Sometimes it’s a disappointed heir who has mounted (or is considering) a will contest. Maybe the file […]
Kudos to Henry Klementowicz on his big win in Estate of Mullin! The Court affirmed our win below before the NH Probate Court (discussed in a prior post) in which the Court ruled that it did not have exclusive jurisdiction to determine ownership of property titled in the name of a NH probate decedent.
I had the pleasure of presenting at the MCLE 18th Annual New England Estate Planning (and More) Conference on January 5. I presented on “Capacity Evidence in Will and Trust Contests.” Here is a link to my written materials and a link to my slides.
Harvard Law School Professor Robert Sitkoff has called to my attention that Scheffel v. Krueger, a case I successfully argued to the NH Supreme Court, appears in Wills, Trusts and Estates, the leading T&E law school text which Sitkoff and and Professor Jesse Dukeminier author. Kyle Krueger had sexually assaulted a minor (and allegedly filmed and internet […]
I will be on the panel for this CLE (Link works after Continue Reading) with Susan Abert, Brooksley Belanger, Judith Bomster, Ann Butenhof, David R. Craig, John E. Laboe, Dr. Eric Mart, Cheryl Steinberg, and Kerri Tasker. It looks like it should be a great program!