Posts tagged "Sharis"

In the Matter of the Estate of Sharis (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-086-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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       12‑P‑693                                        Appeals Court   IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF ALICE R. SHARIS.     No. 12‑P‑693. Suffolk.     March 20, 2013.  ‑  June 28, 2013. Present:  Vuono, Rubin, & Sullivan, JJ.   Will, Testamentary capacity, Undue influence.  Undue Influence.       Petition for probate of a will filed in the Suffolk Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on April 14, 2010.   The case was heard by John M. Smoot, J.     Jonathan D. Plaut for Richard Spinelli. Andrew G. Bunnell for Florence Cavallaro.     SULLIVAN, J.  Richard Spinelli appeals from a decision of a judge of the Probate and Family Court disallowing the will of his grandmother, Alice R. Sharis (Alice),[1] on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and Spinelli’s undue influence.  We discern no error in the judge’s conclusions that Spinelli was a fiduciary, and that the will was the product of undue influence.  Accordingly, we affirm the judgment.[2] 1.  Background.  Born in 1916, Alice came to the United States from Turkey when she was twelve years old, and completed the seventh grade.  She had three daughters, Virginia, Louise, and Florence, with her first husband, whom she divorced in 1959.  She had sixteen surviving grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.  The decedent married her second husband, Peter, in 1961.  Peter, who predeceased Alice by thirteen months, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in the last years of his life and lived in a nursing home during the last six months of his life. Spinelli is one of Alice’s grandchildren.  After separating from his wife in November, 2003, he asked Alice and Peter if he could move into their home.  He remained there through Peter’s illness and death and the death of Alice on February 13, 2010.  He made no monetary contributions to the upkeep or running of the home, but he did drive Alice to medical appointments and other destinations. The judge found that Spinelli gained nearly complete control of Alice and Peter’s checking account between 2006 and 2008.  Spinelli signed Peter’s name to 119 checks between March 4, 2006, and February 4, 2008.  Alice complained to one of her daughters and a granddaughter that she did not know where her money or checks were.  On June 30, 2007, Alice signed a durable power of attorney, prepared by Spinelli, that took effect immediately and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm

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