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Flannery v. McNamara

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
738 N.E.2d 739 (2000)


William White’s will left all of his property to his wife, Katherine White. However, Katherine predeceased William, and the will did not name any contingent beneficiaries and did not contain a residual clause. White’s attorney, Paul McNamara (defendant), was the administrator of White’s estate and began preparing the estate for distribution by intestacy to White’s cousins (heirs) (defendants). Helen Flannery and Margaret Moran (Flannerys) (plaintiffs), Katherine’s sisters, filed a petition for will reformation to effectuate White’s intent that they receive his property. The Flannerys stated that, unlike the heirs, they had a close relationship with White and that White had in fact told the Flannerys that his house and belongings would be theirs someday. The probate court granted the heirs’ motion for summary judgment. The Flannerys appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ireland, J.)

Concurrence (Greaney, J.)

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