Lesanto v. Lesanto:  Massachussetts Appeals Court Reverses Trust Reformation, Leaving Estate to Pass Intestate

Marshall Senterfitt and Mark Swirlbalus, of Goulston & Storrs report on Lesanto v. Lesanto, where a decedent tried to revise his estate plan to disinherit his children by executing a new revocable trust revoking the prior revocable trust but failed to execute a new will revoking the prior will, which poured into the now revoked revocable trust.  The article recites the facts as follows:

Paul Lesanto executed a pour-over will and a revocable trust in 2005, pursuant to which his assets would pass to his wife Donna during her lifetime and then to his two children from a prior marriage.  Following a dispute with his ex-wife Theresa in 2010, in which his two children sided with his ex-wife, Paul decided that he wanted to disinherit them.  Therefore, working with a new lawyer, a second will and a second revocable trust were drafted, pursuant to which the first will would be revoked, the first trust would be revoked, and Paul’s assets would pass to his wife Donna and her children.  This new estate plan would make no provision for Paul’s own children.

Paul executed the second trust in October 5, 2010, but he never executed the second will because he was admitted to the hospital and died before he could do so.  (There were no attesting witnesses available when Paul executed the second trust, and so his plan was to come back to the lawyer’s office another day when attesting witnesses would be available to execute the second will.)  Because Paul never executed the second will, his first will had not been revoked at the time of his death.

Read the full article at: T&E Litigation Newsletter- May 2015 | Goulston & Storrs PC – JDSupra

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.

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