Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Quotes Atty. Eric D. Correira

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly recently quoted Atty. Eric D. Correira regarding a Massachusetts Appeals Court case in which the Court found that extrinsic evidence could be used to prove the validity of a will signed by the testator’s conservator under the conservator’s mistaken belief that his appointment gave him the power to do so. In the Matter of the Estate of Olson, the Appeals Court held that, reading the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code as a whole, the statutory exception allowing extrinsic evidence to be used to prove a testator intended an unsigned document to be their will could be applied to a will signed by a conservator without clear court authority, despite the language in the conservatorship statute stating otherwise.

From the article: “Eric D. Correira of Swansea described Olson as a case of ‘bad facts making bad law.’ ‘The decedent’s wishes are well documented, the conservator appeared to act in good faith and had no personal stake in the will, and the beneficiaries were primarily respected charities,’ Correira said. ‘It is understandable that the court would want to help correct the conservator’s mistake of not getting court approval before signing the will, but these types of decisions open the door for future arguments over what should have remained a black and white issue: that a conservator needs court authority before making a will on behalf of an incapacitated person.'”

For the full article, click here.