Practice Areas

Professional Fiduciary, Estate, and Probate Litigation

Leading businesses, premier charitable institutions, and prominent individuals have for years sought Sherin and Lodgen's help with complex fiduciary, probate, and estate litigation. The firm's attorneys have earned a top-tier reputation in this area, often representing litigants in reported appellate cases, including some of groundbreaking legal significance.

We have represented litigants in actions involving disputes in a variety of contexts:

  • Defense and prosecution of breach of fiduciary claims
  • Trust administration and reformation
  • Will contests
  • Estate administration, including the defense and prosecution of objections to accounts
  • Statutory petitions involving real estate
  • Guardianship matters

Clients of Sherin and Lodgen's professional fiduciary, probate, and estate litigation practice include banks, medical institutions, colleges and universities, and religious institutions, as well as individual trustees, executors and administrators, and estate and trust beneficiaries. All receive astute, practical and sophisticated representation, geared to achieving the best results on a timely, efficient and economical basis.

Representative Experience

  • Charitable beneficiaries in probate court action concerning the suitability of professional trustees involved in an intra-corporate dispute. Trial occurred over the course of thirty days, resulting in judgment that effectuated the charities’ desires for future administration of the trust by the charities’ favored trustees, and with the removal of the disfavored trustees.
  • Charitable beneficiary (hospital) in a dispute involving the proper interpretation of a charitable bequest, where a physician had left employment from the hospital where she had historically treated a trust settlor, and thereafter contended that, in her capacity as physician for another hospital, she was the intended beneficiary of the trust.
  • Institutional trustee in a dispute involving administration of a trust where the beneficiary was undergoing a divorce, leaving the trustee to exercise discretion in the context of claims by the spouse against trust assets.
  • Institutional trustee in responding to subpoenas issued in the context of probate litigation.
  • Trustees and estate beneficiaries in will contests where the competency of the testator and the testator’s freedom from undue influence or coercion was challenged. 
  • Life beneficiaries of trust in challenging accountings and seeking removal of a fiduciary for mismanagement and excessive fees.
  • Trust beneficiary in seeking the sale of an unproductive trust asset, and to address competing claims for reimbursement from trust funds.
  • Individual seeking appointment as a guardian and conservator for an elderly relative, who had revoked a power of attorney and health care proxy appointing the client at a time when the elderly relative was incompetent or otherwise unduly influenced.
  • Tenants-in-common of a property subject to a petition to partition litigated in the probate court and in the subsequent appeal, heard by the Supreme Judicial Court.
  • Mother in post-divorce action seeking the right to move with a minor child to another state, including trial of underlying action and in the subsequent appeal, heard by the Supreme Judicial Court (Abbot v. Virusso, 450 Mass. 1031 (2008)).
  • Municipal retirement board in a probate action involving the assignment of pension benefits, and in the subsequent appeal, heard by the Supreme Judicial Court (Arlington Retirement Board v. Mangiacotti, 406 Mass. 184 (1989).
  • Executor of estate in suit against administrator of estate with regard to claim for mismanagement of funds (Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank v. Burns, 12 Mass. App. Ct. 251 (1981)).
Practice Area Chair: Thomas P. Gorman