BBA Endorses Spousal Elective Share Bill

On Tuesday, February 19th 2013, the BBA Council approved the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Elective Share Committee to support An Act relative to the elective share of surviving spouses. This action followed a presentation by Deborah Manus, Co-Managing Partner of Nutter McClennen & Fish and of the BBA’s two designees on The Ad Hoc Elective Share Committee, and Suma Nair, an associate at Goulston & Storrs and co-chair of the BBA Trusts and Estates Section. The legislation was filed by Senator Cynthia Creem and updates the spousal elective share statute, M.G.L. c. 191, §15.  The current statute has been described as antiquated and inequitable.  The proposed legislation is similar to the Uniform Probate Code, as amended in the 2008.  This legislation will ease estate administration and provide predictability of results.  

The Ad Hoc Elective Share Committee is made up of representatives from the Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and Women’s Bar Association.  Colin Korzec of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management was the other BBA representative to the Ad Hoc Committee.  The Ad Hoc Committee has worked since 2004 on this legislation.  They were able to study and analyze several versions of the spousal elective share statute that had previously been filed in the Massachusetts Legislature as well as similar statutes filed in other states.