Mass. Court Says New Law Can’t Apply To Old Wills

Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that a member of a well-known Massachusetts family will not have to share her inheritance with her two adopted brothers because an amendment that redefined the term “child” in wills and trusts to include adopted children cannot be applied retroactively.

Rachel Bird Anderson asked a state probate court to declare a 2009 amendment to the state’s wills and trust law unconstitutional. That amendment said a 1958 amendment that included adopted children in the definition of “child” should be applied to all wills and trusts, no matter when they were executed.

The Supreme Judicial Court, however, said the 1958 amendment cannot be applied retroactively.

The Bird family founded a roofing and paper business in Massachusetts in 1795.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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