Posts tagged "1004717"

Ferri, et al. v. Powell-Ferri, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-047-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12070   MICHAEL J. FERRI, trustee,[1] & others[2]  vs.  NANCY POWELL-FERRI & another.[3]       Suffolk.     November 8, 2016. – March 20, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, & Budd, JJ.[4]     Trust, Assets of trust, Distribution, Irrevocable trust, Spendthrift provision.       Certification of a question of law to the Supreme Judicial Court by the Connecticut Supreme Court.     Charles L. Solomont (Nathaniel Bruhn also present) for the plaintiffs. Jeffrey J. Mirman for Paul John Ferri, Jr. Kenneth Walton (Patricia B. Gary also present) for Nancy Powell-Ferri.     Gaziano, J.  In this case we are asked to answer three questions certified to us by the Connecticut Supreme Court concerning the authority of a trustee to distribute (i.e., to decant) substantially all of the assets of an irrevocable trust into another trust.  The questions, arising out of divorce proceedings pending in Connecticut between Nancy Powell-Ferri and her husband Paul John Ferri, Jr., the beneficiary of a Massachusetts irrevocable trust, are as follows: “1.  Under Massachusetts law, did the terms of the Paul John Ferri, Jr. Trust (1983 Trust) . . . empower its trustees to distribute substantially all of its assets (that is, to decant) to the Declaration of Trust for Paul John Ferri, Jr. (2011 Trust)?   “2.  If the answer to question 1 is ‘no,’ should either 75% or 100% of the assets of the 2011 Trust be returned to the 1983 Trust to restore the status quo prior to the decanting?   “3.  Under Massachusetts law, should a court, in interpreting whether the 1983 Trust’s settlor intended to permit decanting to another trust, consider an affidavit of the settlor . . . , offered to establish what he intended when he created the 1983 Trust?”   For the reasons we discuss, we answer the first question and third questions yes, and do not answer the second question. Facts and procedural history.  We recite the relevant facts presented in the Connecticut Supreme Court’s statement of facts for certification to this court. The Paul John Ferri, Jr. Trust, dated June 24, 1983 (1983 Trust), was settled by Paul J. Ferri for the sole benefit of his son, Paul John Ferri, Jr. (Ferri Jr. or beneficiary), when Ferri Jr. was eighteen years old.  The trust was created in Massachusetts and is governed by Massachusetts […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

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