February 27, 2008
Four Charities Lose Court Fight for $8m Estate
Four charities in the Boston area lost their court battle to have the will of Leonard R. Brener, a stockbroker, overturned. Five weeks before his death from a long bout with cancer, Mr. Brener changed his will naming his niece and her husband as beneficiaries to his estate. He claimed that he removed the charities from the will and bequeathed his estate to his niece and her husband because the family members took care of him in his dying days.
The charities sued to have the will overturned in November 2002. The lawsuit was brought under the premise that Mr. Brener lacked the mental capacity in his dying days to change his will. According to the article, the charities presented evidence of two medical doctors during the trial that Mr. Brener lacked mental capacity to change his will. The court found that one of the doctors never met Mr. Brener and the other sat of the board of one of the charities. On the contrary, the estate introduced evidence through one of the executors that Mr. Brener knew what he was doing. The lawsuit was initially filed in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The lower court judge ruled against the charities and they appealed.
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