Trusts and Estates — Pour-Over Wills — Bequest to Subsequently Amended Trust Upheld Under Doctrine of Independent Significance

Testator created an inter vivos trust, reserving a power to amend or revoke. Thereafter, he executed his will which left the residue of his estate to the trustee to be used according to the terms of the trust. Subsequently, testator executed an unattested instrument which altered the beneficial interests in the trust property. At testator’s death, his executor petitioned the probate court for instructions whether the residue passed according to the trust’s original terms, its amended terms, or whether the bequest failed, resulting in intestacy. On certification to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, held, there was an effective disposition to the trustee to hold subject to the terms of the trust as amended. The subsequent amendment was effective because acts of independent significance do not require attestation under the statute of wills. Second Bank – State St. Trust Co. v. Pinion, 170 N.E.2d 350 (Mass. 1960).