Massachusetts State House.
Policy Library

Rachel A. Bird Anderson v. BNY Mellon, N.A., et al.

April 01, 2012

Urging the Supreme Judicial Court to clarify estate planning law as it relates to Chapter 524 of the Acts of 2008 – a statute that amended the definition of “issue” to include adopted children in pre-1958 trusts, the Boston Bar Association filed an amicus brief in a case seeking answers to the questions:

Is the retroactive application of Chapter 524 to instruments executed prior to 1958 constitutional?
If so, what are the consequences for actions taken by fiduciaries in reliance on Chapter 524 prior to the SJC’s determination that such an application is constitutional?

The brief notes, “Families often rely on [established principles of construction] in making irrevocable alternate arrandments, such as gifts or bequests made in favor of adopted children who were (until the effective date of Chapter 524) not beneficiaries of certain family trusts.”