Andrew Wolfe writing for the Nashua Telegraph:
NASHUA – A daughter of the late developer Samuel Tamposi will appeal a judge’s decision that cut her out of the family fortune and left her with millions of dollars in debt to the family trust, probate court records show.
Last month, Elizabeth “Betty” Tamposi, 55, of Gilford, lost a long, high-stakes battle with her brothers, Samuel Jr. and Stephen Tamposi, for control of her share of their family’s fortune.
Hillsborough County Probate Court Judge Gary Cassavecchia concluded that Betty Tamposi had violated the “no contest” clause of her father’s trust and would thus be disinherited. Rather than gain control of her share, Betty Tamposi could lose everything.
In addition, Cassavecchia ruled that she must pay back all the money she has received over the last two years, since she first filed the suit, and pay her brothers’ legal bills, which by their reckoning exceed $2 million.
Betty Tamposi and her lawyer, Michael Weisman, of Boston, had asked the judge to reconsider his rulings, but they withdrew their request on Aug. 31, court records show. On Sept. 17, one day before the 30-day deadline, they filed notice that they will appeal his decisions before the state Supreme Court.
It isn’t clear exactly how many millions of dollars Betty Tamposi would owe under Cassavecchia’s order – the figure could be $17 million or more – and neither side would comment on whether any post-trial settlement negotiations were under way.
Betty Tamposi declined to comment on the case by e-mail, writing that while the court case is public, “I view this as a private matter among my family.”
Andie Schwartz wrote an excellent article for Trusts and Estates analyzing the case. It is entitled "Cementing Family Bonds." Read it here.
Schwartz writes: "As an expert witness for Betty, John Langbein, a professor at Yale Law School testified that the investment directors ‘have a continuing duty to diversify trust assets to afford sufficient liquidity to meet the … distribution requests of the trustee.’ He stated also that it wouldn’t benefit the beneficiaries to hold assets that were illiquid or undiversified. "
"The court held that in bringing and prosecuting the litigation, Betty acted in bad faith. Because she challenged the investment directors’ role and specific investments—both of which were expressly provided in the trust document as well as through Sam, Sr.’s intent—her lawsuit was a challenge to the trust provisions. "
The court’s 54 page opinion: Shelton, Tamposi v. Tamposi, Jr. & Tamposi, 316-2007-EQ-0219 (August 2010).