In Pellegrini v. Breitenbach, Case No. SJC-10458, 2010 Mass. LEXIS 293 (May 25, 2010), the Supreme Judicial Court declined to reform a will to create a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) in order to minimize estate taxes and maximize distributions to the charitable beneficiaries of the will.
The decedent's lawyer, believing the decedent's assets to be modest, drafted a simple two-page will for the decedent. The lawyer explained that if he had known of the actual size of the decedent's estate, he would have drafted a more sophisticated estate plan that would have qualified as a CRAT. Evidence was also presented of the decedent's charitable intent.
While the Court acknowledged the various circumstances under which reformation of a trust instrument has been allowed, the Court declined to reform the decedent's will. The Court cited Flannery v. McNamara, 432 Mass. 665 (2000), where it was held that "[c]ourts have no power to reform wills." The Court also denied the requested reformation because, among other things, the request was not made until ten years after the decedent's death and thus was not timely.
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).