Monday, November 11, 2013

Clymer v. Mayo case brief

Clymer v. Mayo case brief summary
473 N.E.2d 1084 (1985)

Appellants, parents, ex-husband, and universities, sought review of decisions by the Essex Division of the Probate and Family Court (Massachusetts) in three actions arising out of the probate of the decedent's will, which included a pour-over provision into an inter vivos trust.


At the time she executed her will and an inter vivos trust, the decedent and her ex-husband were still married. The will provided for two trusts. Trust A was a marital reduction trust in favor of her spouse. Trust B was a pour-over trust, which granted a life interest to her spouse, with the remainder for appellees, niece and nephews, until they reached age 30 when the trust would terminate. When that happened, the remaining assets were to be divided between the two universities.


  • The court held that: 
  • (1) the decedent established a valid trust under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 203, § 3B; 
  • (2) the ex-husband's beneficial interest in Trust A and Trust B was revoked by operation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 191, § 9; 
  • (3) the nephews and niece were entitled to take the interest given to the decedent's "nephews and nieces" under Trust B even though they were the ex-husband's blood relatives, leaving the remainder to the universities; 
  • (4) the parents lacked standing to remove appellee estate administrator because they were not beneficiaries; and 
  • (5) the judge's award of attorneys' fees was vacated and remanded for reconsideration.

The court affirmed all of the judgment with the exception of the ruling that the ex-husband was to take under Trust B, which it reversed, and the award of attorney's fees, which it vacated. The court remanded the question of attorney's fees for reconsideration.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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