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January 21, 2011     Post-Gazette
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January 21, 2011

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POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 21,2011 Page5 David J. Saliba Attorney at Law Can a will be changed after you die? FREDERICK N. PELLEGRINI, administrator, vs. LUCY B. BREITENBACH & others SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS 456 Mass 876; 2010 Mass. LEXIS 293 February 8, 2010, Argued May 25, 2010, Decided The decedent executed a will that provided his friend and sister would each receive one-half of the in- come from his securities and bank accounts during their lifetimes. The will also provided that the residue would be shared jointly by two charities. The decedent was reluctant to disclose the extent of his assets to the attorney who drafted the will, who only knew that the decedent lived in subsidized housing and wanted to keep the legal costs associated with making the will as low as possible. At the time of his death, the value of the decedent's estate was about $1.7 million. The adminis- trator sought to reform the will, alleging that if it were not reformed the estate would have to pay taxes of about $466,733 to the detri- ment of the charitable ben- eficiaries. This is a case where the charities argued that the intention of the decedent was to provide for the chari- ties after the death of the two individuals named in the will. They argued that the will should be changed to carry out the charitable intentions of the decedent to minimize the tax obligation. The Supreme Court de- cided not to reform the will. The Plaintiffs seek to change the will to create a charitable trust. The court said full clear and decisive proof of mis- tak6 is required to justify reformation of a trust instrument. In contrast to the above cited cases, there is no trust instrument in this case. The plaintiff asks us to reform a will to create a trust, namely a CRAT. We decline to do so. The plaintiff has not cited (Flannery), in which we stated that courts have no power to reform wills. The plaintiff, therefore, makes no claim that this case might be an appropriate one in which to reconsider Flannery, although that is the essence of his claim. While there is an exception to the general rule permitting reformation in cases where there exists an ambiguity in a will the plaintiff concedes, as he must, that the will in this case is unambiguous. There is also no indication that there was any mistake on the part of decedent's coun- sel in the drafting of the will. To the contrary, counsel stated in his affidavit that he had followed his clients' re- quest to the letter. This case holds that where there is no mistake or ambiguity, a will cannot be changed after death. An Unexpected Visit by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari The saying goes, "The best- laid plans of mice and men often go awry," and so it was with us. After a busy Christ- mas season, we planned a ,fl.u'mt eek o :,dec0mpress before once again succumb- dng to the hurly-burly rhythms of everyday life. Our plans were interrupted by a :phone call announcing that a cousin from New Jersey was on the Cape visiting with her uncle and would be in Boston the next day; she was with her husband and two children. Laura was coming to the North End to see the place where her grand- mother, our Aunt Mary, was born and to introduce it to her daughters in order to give them a deeper understanding of their family roots. Laura and her family wouid be in Boston the next day, giving us less than twenty four hours to pull the apart- ment together after having dismantled it for Christmas; we were in the midst of a surge of house cleaning and would have to accomplish in a day what we had planned to do in a week. They arrived at 2:00pm the following day, we,manageO to pull the apartment together and we were ready to enter- tain them and give them the tour of the North End they hoped for. Wanting to get started as soon as possible, we met them ore Hanover Street and .went directly to Hanover Avenue, the street where Aunt Mary grew up. Her building is long gone, a parking lot is now in its place; still they were happy to be there and Laura took many pictures of the street for her sisters in New Jersey and New York. We-then took them on a meandering tour of the North End starting with Saint Stephen's Church and mov- ing on to the Old North Church. It was fascinating to listen to their comments as we walked the streets that NORTH END00 Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards * Menus * Flyers Program Books* Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents COMPETITIVE PRICES 617-227-8929 are so familiar to us, in many ways it was like seeing the neighborhood for the first time. Laura kept comment- ing on the narrow streets and alleyways theY were fasci- nated bj fhe' history that had taken place in our tiny neigh- borhood, of the different eth- nic groups that once made it their home. They were amazed at the number of Ital- ian restaurants located in the North End and loved their am- biance and charm. Our tour ended at Saint Leonard, Church, the church where Aunt Mary was bp- tized so many years ago. It was obvious that Laura was very moved by being in the church. The sense of conti- nuity with the past, being in the very place that her be- loved grandmother was bap- tized had the effect of rekin- dling old memories and feel- ings that Laura shared with us and her farnly over din- ner later in the evening. Be- fore the evening was over, Laura promised to return in the spring with her sisters, wanting to share with them the warmth of the North End and the experience of rekin- dling the memory of Grand- mother Mary, our Aunt and Dad's youngest sister. An un- expected visit from distant family members turned into an unexpected pleasure with the promise of a return visit in the spring. INSURANCE/INSPECTOR  Millennium Information Services is looking for independent contractors to perform exterior residential property insurance inspections in a local territory. Earnings based' on number of inspections you complete. Must be currently in business performing like work. You will need the following items to begin: Dependable vehicle, digital camera, measuring wheel & PC with high-speed Internet access To learn more about Millennium and to register online, please visit us at www.rnillinfo.corn and register under property inspector on our employment page. Or mail resume to: 450 E. Devon, Itasca, IL 60143 j FIRST TIME EVER[ Faneuil Hall Marketplace Debuts Ice Skating Faneuil Hall Marketplace debuts ice skating for the first time beginning Saturday, January 22 "u thru Sunday, February 27% Skaters can show off their skills as the next Johnny Weir or Michelle Kwan as they attempt a triple lutz, salchow or axel jump on the custom-designed rink. Several options all "under one roof' are also offered. Dine at one of 13 full-service restaurants, shop at 75 distinct boutiques and stroll through the "one-of-a-kind7 food court, boasting 36 American and international stalls ....... Opening day ceremony {Saturday, January 22,at I lAiVi), headlines a ,sport s.:and figure skating celebrity:lTBA), ribbon-cutting and original "ice" choreography.: "The Skater's Waltz". and a score of classics will be played throughout the winter dates. HOURS: Sunday-Thursday, l lAM-7PM and Friday- Saturday, 1 1AM- 1 1PM. RENTALS: available on site For more information call (617) 523-1300 or visit www.faneuilhallmarketplace, com. WINTER PARKING SPECIAL! Shop, dine or skate through February 28, 2011 at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and receive an exclusive "5 for $5" park- ing discount at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and 75 State Street Garage on nights and weekends for FHM shoppers. 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