Trust legal case: Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner Partners Steve Katz and Alan Rome prevailed in a Connecticut Appellate Court case that centered on the state’s laws detailing the rights of adoptees as beneficiaries of estates and trusts.Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner Partners Steve Katz and Alan Rome prevailed in a Connecticut Appellate Court case that centered on the state’s laws detailing the rights of adoptees as beneficiaries of estates and trusts.

Attorneys Katz and Rome represented Laura Fass, an adopted grandniece of Joseph Merrow, whose trust, executed in 1946, used the terms “issue” and “descendants” to describe family members who qualified as beneficiaries.

Joan Buzzard, the plaintiff in the case that emerged from a Hartford Probate Court periodic accounting, argued that the only persons permitted to receive distributions under the trust are the originally named beneficiaries and their lineal blood descendants, not the adopted defendants, Fass and another adopted grandniece.

In a decision released May 7, the Appellate Court ruled that under Connecticut General Statutes, and updates to the statutes, adoptees are included as “descendants” when it comes to the distribution of funds from a trust.

“There was no evidence of any intent to exclude (the defendants), and (Buzzard’s) position was untenable,” Attorney Katz said told the Connecticut Law Tribune (CLT), which published a May 10 story about the positive outcome achieved by Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner.

“The decision was well reasoned,” Attorney Katz told the CLT. “It served to protect the rights of adopted persons in Connecticut. I think the appellant’s interpretation of Connecticut adoption law really served to undermine these adopted persons rights. … The court issued an opinion that avoided an interpretation of the statute that made no sense, while protecting the rights of adoptive persons in Connecticut.”

About Attorney Katz

Partner Steven L. Katz has been practicing law since 1990. His legal practice includes Personal InjuryWorkers’ Compensation, Commercial Litigation, Real EstateFamily Law and Divorce, Eviction, Probate, Estate Planning and Foreclosure Litigation.

Attorney Katz is licensed to practice law in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C., and in the United States District Court for the Districts of Connecticut and Massachusetts. To learn more about Attorney Katz, see his profile page. He may be reached by phone at (860) 232-3000 or by email at skatz@rckklaw.com.

About Attorney Rome

Super Lawyers 2023, Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner Partners Alan Rome and Chris SicaPartner Alan J. Rome has been practicing law since 1989. His extensive litigation practice focuses on Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation, and extends to Family LawDivorce Litigation, and Criminal Law matters.

His recent outcomes include a $3.389 million settlement in a Workers’ Compensation case and a $1.45 million recovery in a legal malpractice case. To learn more, see Attorney Rome’s profile page. He may be reached by email at arome@rckklaw.com, or by phone at 860-232-3000.

About RCKK Law

Rome, Clifford Katz & Koerner is a Hartford-based law firm whose attorneys collectively have more than 100 years of experience in a wide variety of legal areas. Whether you are dealing with a motor vehicle accident, a Workers’ Compensation injury, a Family Law matter, or a business concern, our skilled lawyers will aggressively advocate on your behalf. We represent individuals and businesses in Connecticut and throughout the New England states. Contact the firm at 860-232-3000.