Posts tagged "Hession"

Skye v. Hession (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-049-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   16-P-282                                        Appeals Court   DEAVEN A. SKYE  vs.  LISA A. HESSION & others.[1]     No. 16-P-282.   Worcester.     November 18, 2016. – April 28, 2017.   Present:  Vuono, Kinder, & Lemire, JJ.     Deed, Condition, Construction.  Real Property, Conveyance, Deed, Life estate, Remainder interests.  Power of Appointment.  Devise and Legacy, Power of appointment, Remainder interests.  Will, Power of appointment.       Complaint filed in the Worcester Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on December 21, 2010.   The case was heard by Lucille A. DiLeo, J.     Robert P. Ford for the plaintiff. Francis X. Small for the defendants.     VUONO, J.  This appeal concerns the validity of a provision in a quitclaim deed that reserved to the grantor, Margaret A. Hession, a special power of appointment over her home (the property).  Margaret executed such a deed in which she granted the property, in equal shares, to her three daughters and son-in-law:  the plaintiff, Deaven A. Skye; her sisters, Melanie J. Hession and Lisa A. Hession, and Lisa’s husband, Ronald G. Stewart.[2],[3]  Margaret later exercised the special power of appointment to reduce Skye’s interest in the property to the advantage of the others.  Upon Margaret’s death, Skye brought an action seeking a declaration that the deed’s special power of appointment was invalid.  A judge of the Probate and Family Court upheld the validity of the reservation, and this appeal ensued.  For the reasons set forth, we affirm. Background.  The following facts are not in dispute.  In late 2005, Margaret was seventy-seven years old and in declining health.  Concerned about her potential need for long-term medical care, she sought legal assistance to plan her estate to protect her home from certain “spend-down” or lien provisions of MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program.  In some situations, MassHealth considers assets transferred during a “look-back” period for disqualification purposes, and the period was soon to be enlarged from three years to five.  See 130 Code Mass. Regs. § 520.019(B) (2006) (look-back period thirty-six months for transfers prior to February 8, 2006; look-back period sixty months for transfers on or after February 8, 2006).  As part of a strategy to avoid or to minimize the impact of this change, Margaret executed the deed on January 2, 2006, transferring the property to Skye, Melanie, Lisa, and Stewart.  The deed reserved to Margaret […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm

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