Argued: November 17, 2016
Circuit Court-Nashua Probate Division
Barradale, O'Connell, Newkirk & Dwyer, P.A., of
Bedford (Pamela J. Newkirk and Laura T. Tetrault on the
brief, and Ms. Newkirk orally), for the appellant.
Middleton, Professional Association, of Manchester (Ralph F.
Holmes and Henry R. Klementowicz on the brief, and Mr.
Klementowicz orally), for the appellee.
Stanley Mullin, Jr., self-represented party, filed no brief.
Michael Mullin, self-represented party, filed no brief.
appellant, Patricia M. Jakle, administrator of the estate of
Kathleen Mullin, appeals an order of the Circuit Court
(Quigley, J.) denying her motion for declaratory
judgment. We affirm.
pertinent facts are as follows. The decedent, Kathleen
Mullin, a resident of Hancock, New Hampshire, died intestate
on November 26, 2014. Her heirs at law are her three
siblings: Michael Mullin, J. Stanley Mullin, Jr., and the
appellant. All of the heirs at law are California residents,
as is the appellee Laura Bushley. From 2008 until her death,
the decedent lived in Hancock and owned real property there
valued at $235, 000. She also owned real property in
California, where she had lived for many years prior to 2008,
as well as personal property valued at $2, 531, 164 at the
time of her death.
the decedent did not have a will, in 2012, while in
California, she executed a trust document (Trust) that had
been drafted by a California attorney. Schedule A of the
Trust lists as Trust property some of the decedent's
personal property and all of her real property. She also
executed an "Assignment of Property to Trust"
(Assignment) that purported to transfer to the Trust all of
her real property and some of her personal
property. The Trust contains the following choice of
The laws of the State of California in force from time to
time shall govern the validity, construction, and
administration of this Trust, except that all matters
relating to real property shall be governed by the laws of
the situs of that real property. This article shall apply
regardless of any change of residence of the Trustee or any
beneficiary, or the appointment or substitution of a Trustee
residing or doing business in another state.
to her death, the decedent was the beneficiary of the Trust.
The terms of the Trust provide that, upon the decedent's
death, approximately 88 percent of the Trust property is to
be distributed to charitable organizations.
Bushley, the appellee, is trustee of the Trust. After the
decedent's death, the appellee became administrator of
the Trust. That same month, the appellee filed in the circuit
court a petition for estate administration, which was
subsequently granted. In May 2015, the appellee resigned as