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Estate Planning and Probate Archives

Unascertainable Beneficiaries in Massachusetts Trusts and IRAs

Failing to properly identify beneficiaries in accounts, trusts, or other estate documents can mean that your wishes will not be carried out. While a court may try to reform a document to match the intent of the settlor, it can only do so when both the existence of a mistake and the intentions of the settlor are proven.

Testamentary Capacity in Massachusetts

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently addressed the issue of testamentary capacity. In In the Matter of the Estate of Fred S. Rosen, a will contestant appealed a court decree allowing the will, a judgment dismissing his challenge to the decedent's retirement account beneficiary designation, and a judgment holding that the beneficiary designation was valid. The contestant argued that the testator did not have testamentary capacity when he changed his will and beneficiary designation. He further argued that the tangible remainder provision of the will was invalid because it did not sufficiently identify the beneficiaries.

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