June 24, 2015
Authored by: Luke Lantta
With several recent cases in which Massachusetts courts have permitted trust modification, we might have started to think that trusts would be liberally reformed in Massachusetts. The Appeals Court of Massachusetts’ decision in Lesanto v. Lesanto (Rule 1:28 decision), however, reminds us that certain requirements must be met to reform a trust.
In October 2005, Paul Lesanto executed a will and the Paul Lesanto 2005 Revocable Trust (“First 2005 Trust”). The bulk of Lesanto’s estate would pour over into the First 2005 Trust. In 2010, however, Lesanto executed a new trust document that retained the name “The Paul Lesanto 2005 Revocable Trust” (“Second 2005 Trust”), but specifically provided that “[t]he Grantor wishes to establish a Trust which may receive property which the Grantor may transfer to it. The Grantor hereby revokes all prior Trusts.” (Emphasis in original.) The Second 2005 Trust had different