Home JANE H. PERKINS & others [Note 1] vs. PAUL J. RICH & another; [Note 2] BAY STATE FEDERAL SAVINGS & LOAN ASSOCIATION & another, [Note 3] interveners.

385 Mass. 1001

January 7, 1982

This case is before us on further appellate review following an opinion of the Appeals Court affirming judgments of the Superior Court. Perkins v. Rich, 11 Mass. App. Ct. 317, 324 (1981). At issue is the validity of certain mortgages given to two banks by instruments executed by the defendant Rich, purportedly on behalf of the First Parish Unitarian Church of East Bridgewater (Church).

We need not repeat the facts recited in the opinion of the Appeals Court. We agree with the Appeals Court that the subsidiary facts found by the master show that the Church's parish committee in effect ratified the mortgage transactions. The parish committee should have conducted an investigation, and, if it had done so, it would have discovered the mortgages. The failure of the parish committee to act to disavow the mortgages, of whose existence the committee should have known, constituted a ratification of them.

Judgments of the Superior Court affirmed.


[Note 1] The other elected members and members ex officio of the parish committee of the First Parish Unitarian Church of East Bridgewater.

[Note 2] The Attorney General.

[Note 3] Shawmut First County Bank, N.A.

Home HENRY H. GOVE & another [Note 1], administrators, vs. MARION F. HAMMOND & others. [Note 2]

385 Mass. 1001

January 12, 1982

We granted the defendants' application for further appellate review in order to restate the rule: "Courts. . . `have no power to reform wills. Hypothetical or imaginary mistakes of testators cannot be corrected. Omissions cannot be supplied. Language cannot be modified to meet unforeseen changes in conditions. The only means for ascertaining the intent of the testator are the words written and the acts

Page 1002

done by him.' Sanderson v. Norcross, 242 Mass. 43, 46 [1922]." Salter v. Salter, 338 Mass. 391, 393 (1959). A failure to provide for a contingency may lead to either a partial or complete intestacy. See Wright v. Benttinen, 352 Mass. 495 (1967).

Judgment affirmed.


[Note 1] James T. Connolly.

[Note 2] Heirs and legatees of the estate of Mildred F. Hosford.