Trish Davidson quoted in "Ambiguity Found Between Trust Document, code provision," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly01/06/23
Given that the standard to grant a motion to dismiss is high, it is not entirely surprising that the Appeals Court wanted to give the parties more time to present evidence on the settlor’s intent, said Worcester attorney Patricia L. Davidson.
Davidson said it will be interesting to see what types of evidence the parties marshal on remand to try to clarify the settlor’s intent, particularly given how much time has elapsed since the trust was created.
To Davidson, the lesson for drafters is to make sure key provisions in a trust are clear and understood by the settlor or grantor as well as the trustees, as they will be the ones who most likely must deal with the consequences of any inconsistencies or ambiguities.
“Clear drafting always needs to be the paramount goal,” she said. “Unclear drafting is what keeps people like me in business.”
Trish Davidson was quoted in “Ambiguity Found Between Trust Document, code provision,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Dec 29 2022