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Massachusetts Agencies

Estoppel by Fiduciary

Estoppel by Deed

Estoppel by fiduciary also involves deeds, but is more or less the reverse of estoppel by deed. This doctrine provides where a guardian or other fiduciary (executor, administrator, trustee, etc.) in a deed executed by him in that capacity, covenants that he was "lawfully authorized and empowered to make sale of the granted premises," he would be estopped from setting up any claim to such property which he had previously acquired in his own right. The result of this, of course, is where a fiduciary, such as an executor, who happens also to be a devisee, gives a deed in his fiduciary capacity, the law will deems that the individual title he held as a devisee also passes under that deed. Heard v. Hall, 16 Pick. 457.

This doctrine is was applied (but not called such) in Kaufman v. Federal National Bank, 287 Mass 97, 101, 102, 191 N.E. 422 (1934), where the court indicated that a deed from a person as "trustee," when in fact she owned the property individually, would pass her individual title.