Planning for Life

Timing is Everything: Don’t Wait Too Long to Sue Your Brother

Posted by Lindsey Cavallaro on May 28, 2019


In general, trustees have a duty of loyalty and care that must be upheld in the management of trust assets and funds. The trustee must only disburse and transfer funds for the benefit of the beneficiaries and for the purposes set out in the terms of the established trust. But what happens when these duties are breached, and the trustee starts transferring funds for their own benefit? For instance, maybe they transfer funds to their own personal bank account and purchase a timeshare in Mexico. This is precisely the alleged situation that divided a family in Whittaker et. al. v. Whittaker (United States District Court, D. Massachusetts, 2019) which they turned into a federal case.

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Topics: family dispute, trusts, trustee

Black Heirlooms: How Lack of Estate Planning Tore One Family Apart

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 2, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

In a short documentary, Amanda Brown describes how disputes over elder care for her 86-year-old grandmother, Edna Mae "Mee-Mah" Royal, after her stroke tore her formerly tightly-knit family apart. As a result of the split with three of her eight children on one side and five on the other, siblings are not talking to each other and grandchildren are no longer speaking with aunts and uncles. In addition, some families stand to inherit family real estate and others do not.

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Topics: family dispute

Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 12, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: family dispute, Estate Planning

What to Do About Dueling Powers of Attorney

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 22, 2011

By Harry S. Margolis

My client acts as agent for her father under a longstanding durable power of attorney.  Unfortunately, tensions are developing between her and her brother who has been consulting with other attorneys about asking their father to execute a new durable power of attorney appointing him.iStock-637904234.jpg

My client wants to know how we can stop this from happening and why the doctor's declaration that their father is no longer competent isn't sufficient.

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Topics: family dispute, guardianship, Estate Planning

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