Alan recently scored a substantial victory in a highly contentious will contest.

Alan recently scored a substantial victory in a contentious will contest.

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Can I Challenge a Will or a Personal Representative Appointment in an Informal Probate?

For many people who are involved in estate disputes, such as a will contest or personal representative appointment, their first formal interaction with the dispute occurs when they receive a “Notice of Informal Probate” from the estate’s attorney.    The informal…

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Attorneys Who Draft Estate Planning Documents: Are Their Lips Truly Sealed?

What happens when a person dies, and the provisions of their estate plan are not clear? Should the attorney drafting the estate plan be compelled to testify as to what the decedent might have said when the estate plan was drafted?

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Challenging A Will: The Importance of The Affidavit of Objections

Here’s a pretty grim statistic from 2015: On three separate occasions last year,  a prospective client contacted me about assisting them in challenging a will,  then decided to represent themselves.    In each of these instances,    the court ended up dismissing…

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The Burden of Proof – Challenging a Will or Trust in Massachusetts

There are not many circumstances under which someone would normally challenge a will or a trust. But if you are a beneficiary, an heir, or another interested party and you are concerned about the validity of the documents pertaining to…

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Can They Sit on Their Hands? Obligations of Personal Representatives to Diligently Administer Estates

I have received several inquiries recently from heirs of estates, expressing frustration over delays in the administration of those estates. In some instances the estates have existed for more than a decade, yet distributions have not been made to heirs…

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A New Tort That Should Find Acceptance in Massachusetts

In recent years courts in several jurisdictions have recognized a legal claim or theory of recovery known as “tortious interference with intended bequest”. This legal theory has grown out of the recognition that people are often able to frustrate the…

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Attorney’s Fees in Probate Litigation: Does the Loser Pay?

Judges are fond of saying that when it comes to attorney’s fees, our legal system employs what is known as the “American Rule”; that is, unless there is a specific law or contract provision that permits or requires the losing…

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The Special Personal Representative: A Useful Tool in Will Contests in Massachusetts

Whenever a challenge is made to a will in Massachusetts, it essentially “freezes” the administration of the estate. In other words, nothing can be done to gather together the assets, pay the estate’s debts, sell assets or distribute property or…

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How Do I Challenge a Will or Trust in Massachusetts?

Sadly,   more and more members of “The Greatest Generation” are dying,  and in the process are leaving unprecedented wealth to their children and grandchildren.    Along the way,  however,   disputes have arisen over the validity of certain distributions of that wealth.    …

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