Boston, MA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts

Q: I need some guidance on interpreting verbiage in a Massachusetts last will and testament.

How are disbursement’s made between Husband and Persons 1, 2, & 3?:

“I give, devise and bequeath all my estate, real, personal and mixed and whatever situated, including all property which I may acquire or become entitled to after the execution of this will, and all lapsed legacies and devises or other gifts made by this will which fail for any reason l, but not including, however, any property over which I may have any power of appointment to my husband [HUSBANDS NAME], if living at the time of my death, and otherwise in equal shares to [PERSON 1], [PERSON 2], and [PERSON 3].

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Woburn, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Looks like a helpful comma was missing and if so and husband survives, then he receives except for any property of which the testator had power of appointment, and not the others unless husband fails to survive the testator. Otherwise its a trip to Court for a "declaration" to be made by the Probate Court through a Complaint for declaratory relief or possibly a Complete Settlement petition-but why wait to the end to be met with a potential weird finding.

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