From left to right: Probate Law Section Chair Michael Christy and Vice Chair Jennifer Laucirica.
Note from Probate Law Leadership
Dear colleagues and fellow section members:
This is a very exciting time for probate practitioners in
Massachusetts. The practice of probate law in Massachusetts is
about to undergo a dramatic change in both procedure and substance.
Members of the Probate Law Section are working tirelessly with
legislators, members of the bar and the judiciary, and the banking
industry to promote the passage of the Massachusetts Uniform Trust
Code and the Technical Corrections Bill for the Massachusetts
Uniform Probate Code.
As you all know, all articles of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate
Code will become effective January 2, 2012. The Probate Law Section
is committed to providing practical and informative programs to
assist our members with the transition to the Uniform Probate Code
and the Uniform Trust Code. As part of that effort, on January 5,
2012, our section is sponsoring a conference
dedicated to the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code at Lombardo's
in Randolph. The all-day conference will provide a comprehensive
overview of the code presented by members of both the bar and the
here for more details and to register.
We are also collaborating with the Boston Bar Association and
members of the judiciary to create an MUPC Resource Desk that will
be staffed with volunteers at Probate Courts throughout the
Michael Christy, chair
Jennifer Laucirica, vice chair
Probate Law Section Council
Urgent message concerning the Massachusetts UTC
We need everyone's HELP!
In order to get the MA UTC Legislation (House 3780)
and MA UPC Corrective Legislation (Senate 704) passed to be
effective on January 2, 2012, we need EVERYONE'S support in
contacting their state senators and state representatives, even
if they have been contacted within the past month.
We especially need help from those in those in Senate Minority
Leader Bruce Tarr's district (First Essex and Middlesex consisting
of Gloucester, Boxford, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton,
Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton, Newbury, North Andover
-- precincts 2, 3, 5 and 7, Rockport, Rowley, Wenham and West
Newbury, in the County of Essex, and North Reading and Wilmington,
in the County of Middlesex). Please contact Tarr and let him know
it is very important for him to help get these bills passed.
Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Paula M.
Carey is working very hard to get both bills passed,
especially since she indicated at the meeting last week that there
are many fees that can NOT be charged effective January 2,
2012, without the passage of the MA UPC Corrective Legislation,
Senate 704. In addition, if the UTC House 3780 does not pass, then
we start the year with Article VII of MA UPC and at some point when
the UTC passes, we then replace Article VII of the MA UPC with the
UTC. These are very serious issues for the Probate Court and all of
Last week, legal counsel at the Legislature and Government
Relations for the Boston Bar Association stated that in order to
get these bills passed during informal session, every senator and
representative should be contacted (even if contacted within the
past month) to encourage passage of both bills. Apparently, that is
how things work during informal session.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
section council member Robert H. Ryan at [e-mail BRyan]
or Michael Christy, section council chair at [e-mail mrchristy].
Upcoming Probate Law Section Council meeting
As a member of the Probate Law
Section, you are invited to attend the Probate Law Section Council
meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the
MBA, 20 West St., Boston.
The Probate Law Section Council will hold its monthly meetings on
the third Wednesday of the month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The meetings
will be posted here.
NOTE: The approved minutes from previous meetings are always
posted on the Probate Law Section Web site here.
Section members are encouraged to network and discuss pending
issues from legislation, statutes, resolutions, cases and reports
and are urged to alert the section/division council of any
legislation, statutes, resolutions, cases and reports which might
require our attention. Click here to contact the Probate Law Section
MUPC Resource Center
The MBA has developed an MUPC Resource Center for easy access to
information on the code which goes into effect on January 2, 2012.
For access to that resource center, click here.
The information included in this resource center includes:
- Facts - FAQs and the ability to ask your own questions;
- Seminars - access to the five CLE programs over the next three
- Articles - providing an overview of the MUPC.
SAVE THE DATE
Basics Conference: An Overview of the New Massachusetts Uniform
Thursday, Jan. 5, 9 a.m.- 5p.m.
Lombardo's, 16 Billings St., Randolph
COUNTDOWN TO MUPC: "THE MUPC
DEMYSTIFIED" CLE SERIES
This dynamic series is designed to
provide probate practitioners (as well as those who aspire to be)
with an in-depth knowledge of the MUPC, exactly how it works and
instruction on the new probate forms that will be issued by the
court. Click here to register for the remaining two
programs, and to receive the first three programs via MBA On
Demand, at a discounted price.
PART IV: Remedies and Protections under the
Tuesday, Jan. 17, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
PART V: Estate Planning under the MUPC
Drafting Wills and Trusts
Tuesday, Feb. 7, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
In case you missed the Oct. 25
Part I: Informal Probate and Appointment
Proceedings, the Nov. 15 Part II: The 'Ins and
Outs' of Formal Probate Proceedings or the Dec. 13
PART III: Powers and Duties of the Personal
Representatives and Options for Closing
Estates, you can view the sessions
via MBA On Demand.
Legislative updates and alerts
The Supreme Judicial Court is still reviewing this and other
pending rule changes. Upon approval by the SJC, Rule 72 of the
Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure will be repealed, and the
new Rule 72 (same number) will be placed in the Supplemental Rules
of the Probate and Family Court (which will become a consolidation
of the General Rules of the Probate Court and the Supplemental
We will keep you informed as to when we can expect the SJC
to act on the new rules.
Power of attorney
As Massachusetts moves closer to adopting its own versions of
uniform probate and trust codes, a group of practitioners, along
with members of the judiciary, Secretary of the Commonwealth
William Francis Galvin's office, elder services and the banking
industry, have convened a task force to review Massachusetts's
current durable power of attorney laws.
The task force's primary objectives will be to examine the
effectiveness of our power of attorney laws and the strength of the
protections that the laws afford those who grant power of
attorneys, use power of attorneys and rely on power of
The task force anticipates sharing its report in 2012.
The MBA is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Join the conversation today
The Massachusetts Bar Association now has a presence on three
social networking platforms, including Facebook, launched in October 2010, LinkedIn, launched in January 2010, and Twitter,
launched in July 2009. All three social media platforms feature
information about the MBA including CLE, events and news.
As an MBA member, we encourage you to both post items of
interest to you, and the greater legal community, on these pages
and comment on items already posted.
Put your name out there
The goal of section councils is to offer members opportunities
for professional growth and development through participation in
section activities. One opportunity available to section members is
publishing articles which are of interest to fellow practitioners.
The MBA provides several forums for articles by section members -
Lawyers Journal and the Massachusetts Law Review.
If you are interested in writing an article for any of these
publications or if you have seen articles which you think may be of
interest to other Probate Law Section members, please contact Jean
Stevens at [e-mail jstevens] for more information regarding