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Probate Law and Litigation

Pierce & Mandell Lawyers Secure Landmark Supreme Judicial Court Victory

25 October 2017

By Robert L. Kirby, Jr. and Thomas E. Kenney The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently issued a landmark ruling in a case of first impression, overturning a probate court judgment against Pierce & Mandell’s clients. Robert L. Kirby, Jr. argued the case before the six-justice panel, and Thomas E. Kenney assisted in preparing the appellate briefs. The case concerned...

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Pierce & Mandell Lawyers Secure Landmark Supreme Judicial Court Victory

Pierce & Mandell Probate Lawyers Secure Appeals Court Victory In Case Involving Interpretation Of A Will

22 June 2017

By: Michael C. Fee and Scott M. Zanolli The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently affirmed a decision by Judge Virginia Ward, of the Suffolk County Probate Court, granting summary judgment to Pierce & Mandell’s client in a lawsuit seeking a declaration regarding the interpretation of a will. Michael C. Fee argued the case before the three-justice panel, and Scott M. Zanolli...

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Pierce & Mandell Probate Lawyers Secure Appeals Court Victory In Case Involving Interpretation Of A Will

Robert Kirby Argues Privacy Case in the SJC

10 March 2017

By Robert L. Kirby, Jr. Ajemian v. Yahoo! Inc.: On March 9, Robert Kirby argued before the Supreme Judicial Court in a case of first impression. The issue before the Court was whether the federal Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701, et seq. bars providers of electronic communication services (in this case, Yahoo!) from divulging the contents of a deceased...

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Robert Kirby Argues Privacy Case in the SJC

Supreme Judicial Court Takes Appeal in Case Involving the Stored Communications Act

20 December 2016

By Robert L. Kirby, Jr. In Ajemian v. Yahoo!, we represent the personal representatives of an estate seeking to gain access to the contents of a decedent’s Yahoo! email account. The Probate Court ruled that the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701 et. seq., prohibited Yahoo! from divulging the contents of the email account to the personal representatives. We appealed....

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Supreme Judicial Court Takes Appeal in Case Involving the Stored Communications Act

Pierce & Mandell Probate Litigators Granted Summary Judgment in Will Contest Lawsuit

8 October 2015

Last month Judge Virginia Ward of the Suffolk Probate Court granted summary judgment to Pierce & Mandell litigators Michael C. Fee and Scott M. Zanolli in a lawsuit seeking a declaration of our client’s rights to real property under the terms of a will.  The case involved an unusual scenario where our client’s entitlement to a family home in Boston...

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Pierce & Mandell Probate Litigators Granted Summary Judgment in Will Contest Lawsuit

Recent Appeals Court Decision Highlights the Importance of Effective Estate Planning to Avoid Post-Mortem Litigation

3 June 2015

By: Scott M. Zanolli A recent Massachusetts Appeals Court decision highlights the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan in place to govern the distribution of assets after death. It is particularly important to ensure that there is a valid will in place when utilizing a trust to dictate the management and distribution of assets. Should either a will or...

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Recent Appeals Court Decision Highlights the Importance of Effective Estate Planning to Avoid Post-Mortem Litigation

Estate Planning: The Lay of the Land - Boston

13 November 2013

By: Michael C. Fee The purpose of estate planning is to identify your personal and financial goals during your lifetime, protect your assets, designate individuals who will act on your behalf in the event that you need assistance, or manage and distribute your assets after your death. Will A will provides the tools for distribution of your assets upon your...

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Estate Planning: The Lay of the Land - Boston

Pierce & Mandell Lawyers Score Appeals Court Victory Over Yahoo!

29 May 2013

Bob Kirby and Tom Kenney recently achieved a major victory before the Massachusetts Appeals Court in a case concerning the ownership of a decedent’s email content.  Our clients were the duly appointed administrators of the estate of their late brother and had requested access to his Yahoo! email account in connection with their efforts to marshal estate assets.  When Yahoo!...

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Pierce & Mandell Lawyers Score Appeals Court Victory Over Yahoo!

“Undue Influence” and Shifting Burdens of Proof in Massachusetts Probate Court

23 January 2013

By Michael C. Fee Those dissatisfied with the testamentary provisions of a decedent’s will or trust can usually challenge the instrument by bringing a will contest proceeding in the Probate Court.  While the recent enactment of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code streamlines procedures to a certain extent, the substantive law of will contests remains unchanged.  There are several well-established rationales...

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“Undue Influence” and Shifting Burdens of Proof in Massachusetts Probate Court

Massachusetts Adopts Uniform Trust Code

18 December 2012

The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code ("MUTC") was recently signed into law and applies to all trusts in existence before, on, or after its effective date, with a few provisions that apply prospectively only. The MUTC clarifies and, in some cases expands, the rights of trust beneficiaries, gives trustees more flexibility in administering trusts, and reduces the need for court supervision...

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Massachusetts Adopts Uniform Trust Code