News & Resources

Joseph Bierwirth Comments on Appeals Court Decision Addressing Issues of First Impression in Trust Case

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

12/9/2021

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recent decision, In the Matter of the Colecchia Family Irrevocable Trust, addresses three issues of first impression regarding disputes over trusts, and raises procedural questions going forward. Joseph L. Bierwirth, chair of the Litigation group at Hemenway & Barnes, was quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly saying, “The most instructive part of the decision was the Appeals Court’s statement that it did not endorse the use of a general trust petition to bring fiduciary or monetary damages claims.

Bierwirth explained, “Petitioners have long done that to create a procedural posture where the objecting party must assert, through an affidavit based on personal knowledge, sufficient facts to disprove an affirmative claim. . . . The guidance supplied by the Appeals Court here, if followed, results in a more suitable process for resolution of these types of claims, even though it seemingly runs afoul of the plain language of the statute.

To read the full article, please click here: Appeals Court Addresses Issues of First Impression in Trust Case

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