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NISSENBAUM’S STANDARD SET OF
SUMMARIES OF LAW
( as of May 31,2003)
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From S.L. v. R.L. 55 Mass. App. Ct. 880 ( September 18, 2002)
Assigning interests in the marital estate is based on Section 34 factors Williams v. Massa, 431 Mass. 619, 625 (2000).
In deciding these questions about whether certain assets are part of the estate, judge is not bound by traditional concepts of title or property.
A number of intangible interests (even those not within the complete possession or control of their holders) have been held to be part of a spouse's estate for purposes of 34. Baccanti v. Morton, 434 Mass. 787, 794 (2001), quoting from Lauricella v. Lauricella, 409 Mass. 211, 214, 216-217 (1991) (vested beneficial interest in a trust may be divided.)
"When the future acquisition of assets is fairly certain, and current valuation possible, the assets may be considered for assignment under 34." Williams v. Massa, 431 Mass. at 628.
Contingent remainder interests in trusts are "mere expectancies" and may be excluded. Id.
Remote or speculative interests should be weighed under "opportunity of each [spouse] for future acquisition of capital assets and income." Id., at 629.
A remainder interest in a trust, subject to survivorship and a spendthrift clause is divisible under 34. Davidson v. Davidson, 19 Mass. App. Ct. 364, 372-373 (1985)
Inclusion turns "more on the particular attributes of the respective disputed interests than on principles of general application." Lauricella, 409 Mass. at 215-216.
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