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Massachusetts law about trusts

A compilation of laws, cases, and web sources on the law of trusts in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.203-c.203C Trusts

Uniform Probate Code, MGL c.190B (MUPC)
Requires trustees to notify beneficiaries of accounting and much more. 

Uniform Trust Code, MGL c. 203E


Massachusetts trust court forms A collection of court forms related to wills, estates, and trusts for use in Probate and Family Court sorted by subject

Selected cases

Guilfoil v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 486 Mass. 788 (2021)
Explains the difference between a nominee trust and a true trust. 

Morse v. Kraft, 466 Mass. 92 (2013)
Explains the concept of decanting trusts. "The sole and disinterested trustee of an irrevocable trust could distribute the trust property in further trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries without their consent or approval, and without the consent or approval of a court, where the trust's broad grant of almost unlimited discretion evidenced the settlor's intent that the disinterested trustee have the authority to do so; further, there was no need to appoint a guardian ad litem in the matter."

Web sources

Avoiding living trust scams: A quick guide for advocates, National Consumer Law Center, 2011.

Make your own living trust, Nolo, 2021
Includes information on choosing your beneficiaries, determining what type of trust you need, trustees, and more. Requires free library card for access.

The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Context, content, and critique, by Courtney J. Maloney and Charles E. Rounds, Jr., Mass. Law Review, December 2014, JD Supra.
This lengthy article discusses the MUTC in detail, including discussion of pre-existing Massachusetts laws which are neither folded into the MUTC nor repealed.

The new Massachusetts pet trust: Ensuring your animals are cared for part 1, Tim J. McNamara, 2012.
Explains the basics of pet trusts in Massachusetts.

Special needs trusts, Nolo, 2019.
How to establish and manage special needs trusts. Requires Library Card for access.

Report of the Supreme Judicial Court's Ad Hoc Committee on Bosch Litigation, 2014.
The committee recommends that "No longer would [the SJC] hear and decide every Bosch case in Massachusetts. The cases instead would be allocated between the Supreme Judicial Court and the Probate and Family Court, based on the nature of the issues involved. Under the proposed approach, the Supreme Judicial Court would concentrate on those cases that involve novel or unsettled issues of Massachusetts law or are otherwise of significance beyond the parties and the specific facts of the case." (Commissioner v. Estate of Bosch, case brief summary)  

Trustee's legal companion: A step-by-step guide to administering a living trust, Nolo, 2021
Should you serve as trustee -- What a trustee does -- Working with advisers -- The first six months -- Assets that should be in the trust but aren't -- Property that passes outside the trust -- Taking over during the settlor's life -- Subtrust funding -- Managing an ongoing trust -- Taxes -- Terminating the trust. Requires free library card for access.

Print sources

Drafting irrevocable trusts in Massachusetts, MCLE, loose-leaf.

Drafting wills and trusts in Massachusetts, MCLE, loose-leaf. 

The law of trusts and trustees, by George Gleason Bogert, West, with supplement.

Understanding and using trusts, MCLE, loose-leaf. 



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: June 30, 2021