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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
In our cases, demands and actions for accountings by attorneys-in-fact under powers of attorney are a common feature. We have updated the Pleadings Bank to include a draft POA accounting and litigation hold demand which you can access at this link.
My view, often expressed to clients and in presentations, is that capacity is the key issue in most undue influence cases. Unless the testator suffered significant diminished capacity at the time the will was signed, a contest of the plan on grounds of undue influence is unlikely to succeed. A finding of undue influence requires […]
I presented on April 18 at a National Business Institute education program for New Hampshire lawyers “Probate Administration From Start to Finish“ I was to cover the following probate litigation topics, but as sometimes happens ran out of time. Will and Trust Contests Power of Attorney and Constructive Trust Claims Pretermitted Heir Claims Creditor Claims and […]
With the highest duties in law and significant liability exposure, fiduciaries generally are entitled and, in the exercise of due care may be required, to engage counsel at trust expense for guidance as to the proper administration of their responsibilities. When the fiduciary’s conduct is contested, she may be able to defend the claims by […]
My colleague George Cushing and I will be joining Joseph Bierwirth, Jr. as panelists in the MCLE 19th Annual New England Estate Planning Conference 2018. Our presentation is entitled “Fiduciary Risks in Exercising or Not Exercising the Power to Decant Trust Assets.”