Posts tagged "Galatis"

In the Matter of the Estate of Galatis (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-136-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   14-P-579                                        Appeals Court   IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF CHARLES P. GALATIS. No. 14-P-579. Middlesex.     April 14, 2015. – September 9, 2015.   Present:  Berry, Milkey, & Massing, JJ. Will, Testamentary capacity.       Petition for probate of will filed in the Middlesex Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on June 12, 2000.   The case was heard by Maureen H. Monks, J.     Dimitrios Ioannidis for town of Skiathos. William M. Driscoll for Syriano Kyparissou Kontos & others.     MILKEY, J.  On January 15, 2000, Charles P. Galatis, then seventy-six years old, was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  Once admitted, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, and over the ensuing weeks he suffered a rapid overall decline in his physical and mental condition.  Galatis remained hospitalized,[1] and he died on February 25, 2000. On February 9, 2000, Galatis executed a document purporting to be his will.  The executor named in the will formally presented it for probate, joined by the will’s principal beneficiary, the town of Skiathos, Greece.[2]  Two of the decedent’s cousins contested the will.  After a ten-day trial, a Probate and Family Court judge declined to allow the will, because she found that Galatis lacked testamentary capacity on February 9.  Because that finding is amply supported by record evidence, we affirm. Background.  The judge made 559 factual findings that totaled seventy-one pages.  We summarize those findings, almost all of which are unchallenged, and highlight the facts still in dispute.  See Rempelakis v. Russell, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 557, 559 (2006). 1.  Galatis’s background medical conditions.  By the time Galatis was admitted to MGH, he already suffered from a long list of medical problems including diabetes, hyperkalemia (excess potassium in the blood), and major depression.  For such problems, Galatis was taking twelve different prescribed medications, including the antidepressant Elavil, and two different narcotics for pain relief.  The symptoms of anxiety and depression worsened following his diagnosis with metastatic lung cancer.  He therefore was prescribed a second antidepressant, and the dosages for both antidepressants subsequently were increased.  His painkillers also were aggressively increased, and he was placed on a self-administered morphine drip beginning on February 8. 2.  The February 1 document.  When he entered MGH, Galatis apparently had no existing will.  At some point during his initial hospitalization, he […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 10, 2015 at 6:53 am

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