Fiduciary Litigation in the Probate Court

Use the court's equity power to achieve results

524 pages (ebook)
3rd Edition 2016
© 2016 MCLE, Inc.
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Product Description

Fiduciary litigation is multi-faceted and often complex. It can involve the disposition of probate assets; disputes regarding the powers, fees, and duties of trustees; reservation; reports; appeals; cy pres; deviation; petitions to partition—and a host of other topics that are the subject of litigation. Fiduciary Litigation in the Probate Court features the strategic, practical and authoritative guidance you need to handle a case involving a probate matter, including including discussion of equitable versus probate remedies, the mechanics of specific actions, such as the reformation of trusts, determination of title, declaratory relief, matters involving trustees, objections to and defense of accounts, will contests, and much more. MCLE has convened a stellar group of judges and practitioners with deep experience in litigation of fiduciary matters involving wills and trusts. This comprehensive, multi-authored handbook should be your first stop for practical litigation guidance and procedural tips.

Recent updates:

  • Update: November 2016

    Dear Subscriber:

    Thank you for choosing to keep your probate practice current with this 2016 edition of Fiduciary Litigation in the Probate Court. In this revised issue, you will find dozens of new cases, case analyses, practice tips and the insightful commentary of our expert authors, including the following:

    • Declaratory Judgment—Until 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court routinely reformed or interpreted trust instruments to preserve tax savings. In Chapter 3, read about the case that changed that.
    • Parents' Rights—See Chapter 12 for case law on indigent parents' constitutional right to court-appointed counsel in proceedings related to private guardianship of a minor.
    • Fiduciary Fees—In Chapter 14, see discussion of trial judges' wide discretion in determining fees awards, along with a 2015 case that addressed the failure to demonstrate, in a finding, that appropriate factors have been considered in setting the fee.
    • Litigating Will Contests—Chapter 10 contains a discussion, and 2014 case decision, on the topic of testamentary capacity. It addresses the sufficiency as to whether notations in a decedent's medical records indicating sporadic periods of confusion and hallucinations, even when supported by expert testimony by a nontreating physician specializing in geriatric psychiatry, were still insufficient to defeat the presumption of testamentary capacity.

    We at MCLE trust that you will find these and hundreds of other updates useful in your probate practice and valuable in keeping your law library current.


    Maryanne G. Jensen, Esq., MCLE Director of Publications

Table of Contents

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Chapter 1 - Filings in the Probate and Family Court After the MUPC and MUTC (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 2 - Complaint for Instructions (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 3 - Declaratory Judgment (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 4 - Reformation of Trusts Under Massachusetts Equity Procedure (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 5 - Determination of Title (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 6 - Removal, Death, and Resignation of Fiduciaries (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 7 - Defending the Trustee Against Removal (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 8 - Compelling and Objecting to Accounts (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 9 - Defending Accounts (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 10 - Litigating Will Contests (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 11 - Compromise Agreements (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 12 - Parentage (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 13 - Cy Pres and Deviation (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 14 - Fees in the Probate Court (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 15 - Petition to Partition (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 16 - Appellate Practice in Fiduciary Litigation (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 17 - Evidentiary Privileges in Fiduciary Litigation (Buy Chapter)


Hon. Jennifer M. R. Ulwick, Essex Probate and Family Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Salem


David Aptaker, Esq., Law Offices of David Aptaker, Stoneham
Hon. Jennifer M. R. Ulwick, Essex Probate and Family Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Salem
Mark W. Williamson, Esq., Law Offices of Mark W. Williamson, PC, Sterling



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