In Victor v. Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Case No. 09-P-1361, 2010 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 844 (July 21, 2010), a decision issued pursuant to Rule 1:28, the Appeals Court affirmed a denial of Medicaid benefits on the grounds that a family trust established by the plaintiff's husband is a Medicaid-qualifying trust. For trusts created before August 11, 1993, a Medicaid qualifying-trust is defined as one created or funded by the individual or his or her spouse, other than by will. Here, the court held that the family trust is a Medicaid-qualifying trust because, contrary to the plaintiff's argument, the trust was not funded solely through her husband's will. The family trust was created independently of the will as an inter vivos trust. Therefore, the assets of the family must be counted in determining the plaintiff's eligibility for Medicaid benefits.In Carrison v. Smiddy, Case No. 09-P-1718, 2010 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 863 (July 22, 2010), another decision issued pursuant to Rule 1:28, the Appeals Court affirmed a decision dismissing claims against the defendant trustee of a family trust for breach of fiduciary duty by making distributions prior to the settlor's death, favoring one side of the family (the Smiddy side) over the other (the Carrison side). Although these distributions were inconsistent with the settlor's intent to treat her children equally, the distributions were consistent with the settlor's intent to reduce the taxes on her estate. "Given the large tax savings and relatively small net disparity in distributions to the families, we cannot conclude that the judge's finding that [the defendant] had not breached his fiduciary duty to [the settlor] or to the residual beneficiaries was clearly erroneous."
Day Pitney Newsletter
Clifford Nichols wrote an article, "When Addressing Cybersecurity and Data Breach, Don't Forget eDiscovery," for New Jersey Law Journal. The article is about how companies should consider eDiscovery and litigation response issues when making policy or infrastructure changes to address cybersecurity and data breach risks.
Day Pitney Press Release
Rick Sanders is quoted in an article, "Business Groups Encouraged by Legislators," in NJBIZ, which addresses political activity behind a bill to phase out New Jersey's estate tax. Under the bipartisan bill, the estate tax, which currently applies to inheritances valued at $675,000 or more, would be eliminated gradually over a five-year period. "It affects such a small part of the population," Sanders said. "It just strikes me as unusual that all of a sudden, this bill came. I think it's not coincidental that the governor was campaigning for president at the time he called for the repeal. For years and years, there's been proposals to increase the exemption to $1 million and it never got any traction in New Jersey."
Boston, Mass., January 20, 2016 – Day Pitney is pleased to announce Jillian Hirsch, a partner in Day Pitney’s Litigation Practice, has been selected as one of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2015 Lawyers of the Year. Honorees were nominated by their colleagues, clients and other legal professionals for their outstanding professional accomplishments.
Boston, Mass. November 11, 2015 – Day Pitney is pleased to announce Leiha Macauley, a partner in Day Pitney’s Individual Clients Practice, has been selected as a 2015 Boston Rising Star by The National Law Journal.
Jillian Hirsch was quoted in an article, "Trust divisible in divorce despite possible new beneficiaries," in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In the article, Hirsch, who represented the wife in the matter, explains why the Appeals Court's decision of Pfannenstiehl v. Pfannenstiehl is significant.
"It confirmed that an interest in a trust with an ascertainable standard--specifically one with a history of distributions woven into the fabric of the marriage--is a vested, presently enforceable interest and therefore properly included in a marital estate for purposes of equitable division of property in a divorce," she said.