Hemenway & Barnes Helps Turn Philanthropic Vision into Annual Charitable Donation for the City of Newburyport

June 13, 2024
Hemenway & Barnes Helps Turn Philanthropic Vision into Annual Charitable Donation for the City of Newburyport

Attorneys from Hemenway & Barnes received an ovation at a recent Newburyport City Council meeting after presenting the Mayor Andrew R. Curtis Memorial Fund. If approved, Newburyport will receive an annual distribution upwards of $250,000 to spend on charitable activities.

The Fund, valued at over $5 million, was established by Wayne Curtis to honor his grandfather, who served as Newburyport’s chief executive from 1896 to 1897. Edward Notis-McConarty and Brad Bedingfield from Hemenway & Barnes and Joseph Cleary, a Haverhill, MA-based attorney, will serve as trustees of the Fund.

Wayne Curtis established the Fund in 2012 as a charitable trust to be funded with the residuary assets from his estate. After his death in 2018, the administration of his estate was delayed due in part to Covid and a challenge to the Will by a named beneficiary, who claimed she was entitled to all of the stocks, bonds and cash, which would have left the Trust with no assets. Hemenway & Barnes successfully represented both the Estate and the Trust in the litigation which was resolved by a Court Order in favor of the Will and the Estate.

The distribution of the Fund was further complicated because the original Trust did not qualify under federal tax law as an exempt 501(c)(3). To obtain tax-exempt status, Hemenway & Barnes is working with the City of Newburyport and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to modify the Trust using a non-judicial settlement agreement. After the City and the Attorney General’s Office approve the agreement, distributions can be made to the City.

Serving as Trustees, Edward Notis-McConarty, Brad Bedingfield, and Joseph Cleary, are looking forward to making Wayne Curtis’s philanthropic vision a reality.

Edward Notis-McConarty

Edward Notis-McConarty concentrates his practice in the areas of probate litigation, civil litigation, dispute resolution, and fiduciary work.

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