Reliving the 200-year Saga of Benjamin Franklin’s Massachusetts Trust

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Next year, 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of the judicial/political resolution of the final controversy over the administration and disposition of a certain Massachusetts-sited trust established under the will of Benjamin Franklin. See Franklin Foundation v. Attorney General, 416 Mass. 483, 623 N.E.2d 1109 (1993) (the “final case”). Over the decades, there had been other Franklin Trust battles. Participants had included such luminaries as Andrew Carnegie and Henry S. Pritchett, President of MIT from 1900-1906. Some of the battles had been fought in the political arena, others in the courts. The last battle was waged in both venues. Charles E. Rounds, Jr. was the plaintiff’s counsel in the final case. See id. at 483, 1110. Here is his account of the 200-year saga. It is taken from Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2012), pages 1172-1174.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Charles E. Rounds, Jr., Suffolk University Law School | Attorney Advertising

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