The New Hampshire Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of a lower court, dismissing a legal malpractice claim against a lawyer and her firm, who allegedly failed to secure the execution of a will, just prior the death of the testate. The case is Riso v. Dwyer, Hillsborough northern judicial district, Case No. 2015-0361, decided on March 18, 2016.
Beatrice Riso, the Plaintiff’s mother, was 90 years old when she hired the firm. Sh had five children, but had disinherited two of the children in a prior will, leaving her estate equally to the three remaining children. Her son, Gregory, the Plaintiff was one of the three. In February, 2012, she hired Maureen Dwyer and her firm to redraft the will to exclude the other two sons, whom she thought had deceived her with respect to their intentions if they inherited.
Beatrice and the Plaintiffs met with Dwyer on February 28, giving her the necessary information in order for her to draft the will. Beatrice. Beatrice told the attorney that she wanted to execute the new will by March 2, 2012. She also gave her a letter from her physician stating that she was mentally competent to make decisions. The will was not executed by March 2, and soon after, Beatrice was hospitalized.