Related to:

Opinion Opinion 91-1

Date: 01/02/1991
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Ethical Opinions for Clerks of the Courts

Serving as fiduciary for college roommate; definition of "close familial relationship."

Dear Clerk:

In your letter of October 26, 1990 you request an advisory opinion by the Committee concerning whether the relationship you have with your former college roommate satisfies a "close familial relationship" which would permit you to serve as a fiduciary under Canon 5(d).

The facts relevant to your request are as follows:

Your college roommate from 30 years ago would like to nominate you to serve in the following fiduciary capacities: a trustee of an irrevocable insurance trust; an executor of his will; a successor co-trustee of an intervivos trust; and a recipient of a durable power of attorney.

You state that you and your former college roommate have vacationed together and have visited each other two or three times per year. You also state that you have had no business or professional relationship with him.

He also lives in another state so that any probate of his estate will not be in Massachusetts.

After consideration of the above, it is the Committee's opinion that your relationship with your former college roommate is not a "close familial relationship" and therefore Canon 5(D) prohibits you from serving as a fiduciary.

If you would like to provide further information to the Committee to support your position of a close familial relationship of course the Committee would consider any additional facts.


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