banner

Boston Probate Litigation Lawyer Wins Trust Contest

Boston probate litigation lawyer wons a trust contest. PSD founding partner Peter Duffy won dismissal of all claims by a beneficiary to change a family trust. Specifically the petitioner sought to treat as an heir, under the trust, a man he adopted as an adult.

Adopted Adult Son

The petitioner sought to permit his adopted son—whom he adopted as an adult—to succeed to his interest in his grandfather’s trust. Some family members challenged the petitioner’s ability to seek an advisory opinion. Consequently, Petitioner sought confirmation that his adopted son would stand in the petitioner’s shoes after his death. Of particular note, the petitioner had no biological children. As a result, he hoped adoption of the adult would allow him to pass along his interest in his grandfather’s trust. If not, his shares would go to his siblings and their heirs.

Boston Probate Litigation Lawyer Wins Trust Contest

Petitioner asked the court to modify the family trust or declare that petitioner’s adopted son may inherit his share of the Trust.  Duffy argued that, in order for the inheritance to happen, certain precipitating events must transpire. Specifically, the Trust provided for its own termination twenty-one years following the deaths of several named individuals. Hence, certain individuals must die, and the Petitioner must perish before twenty-one years passed following their deaths. In a 12-page opinion, titled In re Phillips Trust, the court found the action premature because certain conditions had not occurred. The court explained that these conditions constituted prerequisites to an actual controversy. Furthermore, the court rejected the petitioner’s effort to amend the Trust because only some, not all, beneficiaries consented to the relief.

PSD Boston Probate Attorneys

With lawyers in Boston and New York, PSD represents clients in probate matters that include trust disputes and family law actions. These matters often involve custody issues and business valuations. PSD has significant experience in international child abduction and custody matters. Also, PSD represents individuals and businesses in high-stakes cases. These matters include private equity and hedge funds, securities transactions, False Claims Act issues, healthcare matters, and employment disputes. In this matter, Boston Probate litigation lawyer won a trust contest among family members.