In Ingeno v. Meister, Case No. 09-P-502, 2010 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 58 (Jan. 19, 2010), the Appeals Court affirmed the probate court's construction of a devise of real property. In her will, the testatrix devised her real property in Rockland as follows:
"I hereby bequeath the property...to my husband, Albert L. Ingeno, now of Rockland, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Robert A. Ingeno, now of Rockland, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Richard Meister, now of Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts and Alan Meister, now of California, equally share and share alike. I request that the Court allow my husband to remain on the property during his lifetime so long as he pays the taxes and expenses related to the property. At the time of his death the property is to be divided equally amongst, Robert A. Ingeno, now of Rockland, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Richard Meister, now of Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts and Alan Meister, now of California, equally share and share alike."
The Court held that this devise created an absolute gift to Albert, Alan, Richard and Robert, with each receiving a twenty-five interest in the property, rather than a life estate in Albert and a remainder in equal thirds to Alan, Richard and Robert. In reaching this holding, the Court relied on the rule of construction that "where the absolute and unrestricted ownership of property is given by will, a limitation over is void, because such a limitation is inconsistent with the full and complete title already given." Davis v. Davis, 225 Mass. 311, 312 (1916).
Accordingly, as the Court explained, the first sentence of the devise at issue created an undivided interest in the four named devisees, in fee simple absolute, with no conditions. Therefore, the next two sentences purportedly creating a life estate with remainder interests are ineffective.
On November 9, Peter M. Shapland, chair of Day Pitney’s Trust Services and Fiduciary Compliance practice group and chair of the firm’s Trust Oversight Committee, served as a panelist at the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Sixth Annual Probate Law Conference held in Norwood, MA.
On October 10, Tiana Gianopulos will be a panelist at the Business and Professional Women's Success Series breakfast, presented by the Town and County Club in Hartford, CT.
On June 14, Angela Titus McEwan will be speaking on Estate Planning at a Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC) Financial Literacy Seminar at CarePoint MSO in Jersey City, NJ.
Jay Kauffman and Paul Marino authored an article, "How Florida Affirmed Fiduciaries' Lawyer-Client Privilege," published by Law360.
Day Pitney partner Angela Titus McEwan authored an article, “Recent Cases Address Undue Influence in Will Contests,” published by the New Jersey Law Journal.
Gary Betensky and Michael Napoleone were featured in a profile, "Day Pitney LLP: Firm Expands to Better Serve South Florida Clients," published in the March issue of The Boca Raton Observer magazine.
Day Pitney Press Release
Day Pitney associate Darian Butcher has been elected as Vice President of the Board of Directors of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
Day Pitney Press Release
Day Pitney associate Darian Butcher has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (FBA).