Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
473 N.E.2d 1084 (1985)
In 1973, Clara Mayo executed a revocable trust and a new will directing that most of her estate pour over into her revocable trust. Clara designated James (defendant), her husband at the time, as life beneficiary of the trust, with her nieces and nephews receiving remainder interests until the youngest reached 30 years of age, after which the assets were to be distributed to Boston University (B.U.), where she was employed as a professor, and Clark University. In order to direct the disposition of all of her assets through the revocable trust, Clara named the trustees of her revocable trust as beneficiaries of her B.U. group life insurance policy and her B.U. retirement plans. Previously, Clara had designated James as beneficiary of her B.U. life insurance policy and her B.U. retirement plans. After Clara and James divorced in 1978, Clara changed the beneficiary of her life insurance policy to Marianne LaFrance. However, Clara did not change the beneficiary of the trust, which remained designated as James. Clara did not fund the trust while she was alive. When Clara died, her parents were her only heirs and they stood to inherit Clara’s intestate estate if her trust was declared invalid. If the trust was found to be valid, a question arose as to whether the designation of James was revoked by the Massachusetts statute, G.L. c. 191, § 9, under which bequests in a will to a former spouse are automatically revoked. The case was ultimately appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hennessey, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.