On January 8 the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Ciani v. Macgrath that a widow whose late husband’s will left all his property to his children from his first marriage has the right, under General Law chapter 191, section 15, to claim one third of his estate and a life estate in his real property. Raymond Ciani married his second wife Susan in 2013, but never updated his will before he died in 2015.
Justice Elspeth Cypher, writing for the Court held that the statute which has been around in some form since 1783 is “unwieldy and perplexing to apply” and “in desperate need of an update” by the Legislature. For the time being Massachusetts courts must abide by it and estate planners must take it into consideration. Read the decision
Read the Globe article.
I do, act II : estate planning for second marriages KFM2540 .I36 2015 http://encore.socialaw.com/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1139397
Massachusetts estate planning, will drafting and estate administration forms : practice KFM2540.A65 C59 1998 http://encore.socialaw.com/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1026961
Also available as an e-book http://encore.socialaw.com/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1139073
Drafting wills and trusts in Massachusetts
KFM2544 .D72 2017 http://encore.socialaw.com/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1144343
Fiduciary litigation in the Probate Court
KFM2537 .F53 2016 http://encore.socialaw.com/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1143701