In a case with significant ramifications for trusts and
estates practitioners and the clients they serve, the Boston Bar Association
today filed an amicus
brief urging the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to recognize that the power of
a trustee to distribute trust property to beneficiaries also includes the power
to distribute that property to another trust for the benefit of the beneficiary
under Massachusetts law. The case before the court, Richard Morse, Trustee
v. Jonathan A. Kraft, et al. was brought as a non-adversarial proceeding by
a trustee of a trust for the purpose of having the SJC answer the question: Does
a trustee have the power to make distributions in further trust for any
beneficiary's benefit without the consent or approval of any beneficiary or
In its amicus brief the BBA makes the case that a trustee's broad
discretion to distribute property outright to a beneficiary includes the
authority to distribute property to a new trust for the benefit of the same
beneficiary, subject to fiduciary limitations based upon the nature and purposes
of the trust and the beneficiary's best interests.
The BBA's amicus brief
was drafted by a committee formed by the Trusts and Estates Section and
comprised of the following individuals:
Andrew D. Rothstein of Goulston
& Storrs, P.C.
Allison M. McCarthy of Riemer & Braunstein LLP
J. Bloostein of Ropes & Gray LLP
George L. Cushing of McLane, Graf,
Raulerson & Middleton P.A.
Joan B. Di Cola of Boston,
Michelle B. Kalas of Riemer & Braunstein LLP
Stewart of Robert G. Stewart, P.C.
Brian P. Thurber of Goulston & Storrs,