Tara DeCristofaro, Register of the Probate and Family Court for Middlesex County, spoke to us about probate law. 


Middlesex County is the largest county in Massachusetts with over 1.5 million people.  Tara told us that there are approximately 27,000 filings per year and it’s her job to make sure every one of them is recorded correctly.  She told us about some common mistakes people make with wills.  First, wills should be dated, signed, and witnessed by two people who are not receiving anything from the estate.  Second, each page must be initialed.  Third, if any changes are necessary, do not mark them on the will.  Instead, write a codicil.  When wills are written on, they are often fought over.  Fourth, when you pick a “personal representative” (the old term was executor), the person show know that s/he was selected.

          Tara updated us about recent changes that were made to probate law.  If you die without a will and you have a blended family, there is a new way that the estate is divided among the surviving family members.  There is also a new “informal process” for filing an estate.  She also touched briefly upon trusts and health care proxies.

          She advised us to get our legal documents in order so that what you want to have happen when/if you become disabled and when you die, will actually happen.  She gave us examples from the news (Ted Williams and Terry Schiavo) where it was unclear legally what they wanted to happen and the courts became involved.  She also cautioned us that this work needs to be done while we are still in our right state of mind, before we lose our mental capacities.


Guests: Tara DeCristofaro (speaker), Gino Frattallone (Rotary Club of Acton Boxborough), Louise Peacock, Jack Twomey.


Team Spirit:  Karin dressed up as a Nashoba Regional High School football player and wore a big, green number 1 hand to build enthusiasm for what our club has accomplished so far and what we have planned for the remaining part of her term as our club president.  Go team!


Club Announcements:

  • Ron Burton, President Elect of Rotary International, will be speaking at the PETS Conference next week in Framingham.  The cost of attending the dinner is $40.

  • Membership – We have 20 members now, Karin’s original goal.  Let’s work toward 25 members before June 30!

  • Reality Fair – Dana finished building the wheel of fortune and planning is going well.

  • Interact Club – Karin attended a club meeting at NRHS on February 26.  Shea is the president of the club but they do not have enough members to become an official club.  They are considering merging with the high school’s community service club that has 30 members.  If the merger happens, they will have enough members to become an official Interact Club.

  • Stow COA – Karin dropped in on Alison at the COA on February 26.  In order for us to volunteer, we first need to go through a CORI check.  Karin brought forms for us to fill out if we are interested in becoming volunteers.  Karin has also arranged for us to attend Stow COA’s June breakfast instead of having a meeting.

  • Board meeting – The next Board meeting is on March 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Slater’s in Bolton.

  • Cruise Nights – Laura is the chair of the planning committee for this event.

  • Opening Day Meals at COAs – Jim has talked to the COAs in Bolton, Lancaster, and Stow about this event and all are interested.  Stow’s COA has a big 55-inch TV and would like to host the event.

  • We are One international project – District gave its approval for our project.  Now we are in the queue to get approval from Rotary International. RichardS has done a lot of work on this project.

  • RYLA – our club will sponsor two high school sophomores at this year’s RYLA event.  We have already received some applications from high school sophomores.

  • Exchange student – If our club lines up three host families for a foreign exchange student, we can send a local student on an exchange trip.

  • Recycling Day in Lancaster – Natascha and Chuck are organizing this event.

  • Stow’s Kid Fest/Spring Fest – Bill and Barbara will work on this event.


Happy/Sad Fines: 

Happy Fines

  • Laura was happy that every has been so supportive.
  • Chris was happy that the reality fair is going well.
  • Richard was happy to be in Rotary and happy to be going to his grand daughter’s naming ceremony in March.
  • Gino was happy to go to more club meetings.
  • Bob congratulated Richard for his work on the “We are One” international project.
  • Nancy was happy that she and Karin had another successful recruiting day in Bolton.
  • Ron was happy that his daughter saw a show and went to a theater workshop featuring the cast of “Wicked” when she went to NYC last week during school vacation.
  • Dana was happy that the wheel of fortune is finished.
  • Cyndi was happy that her husband, Chris, will be back from his trip later this evening.  She was also happy that she met a Rotarian at a play in Providence who invited us to attend his club’s fundraiser in May.
  • Don was happy that his wife, Nancy, is back from her trip to Colorado where she took a class about cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven.
  • Mary was happy that she had a good visit with her sister in NY state.  She was also happy about all of the work Richard has done on the “We are One” project.
  • Karin was happy about the book of pictures Laura made of Rotary events and meetings.  She was also happy about her day with Nanci talking with people in Bolton about Rotary.  During the trip they got five business cards from people who are interested in our club! 

Sad Fines

  • Barbara was sad that a co-worker’s father in-law died earlier in the week.
  • Jim was sad that he will miss next week’s meeting.

Non Club Announcements

  • “A Bridge to Hope Boutique” will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the March 2 and March 3 weekend in Sudbury.  All proceeds go to Domestic Violence Services Network’s Lawyer for a Day program that provides legal assistance for victims of domestic violence at no charge to the victim.
  • The Hudson Rotary’s Irish night fundraiser was March 1 at the Hudson Elks’ Lodge from 8 to 11 p.m.

Future Meetings

First, third, and fifth Thursdays:

7:15 AM to 8:30 AM

Houghton Building (across from the school)

697 Main Street, Bolton, MA 01740

(Route 117 West from I495, Exit 27)

Second and fourth Thursdays:

Nancy’s Airfield Café

302 Boxboro Road

Stow, MA 01775

5:45 PM to 6:45 PM


About Rotary:

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley serves the communities of Bolton, Lancaster, and Stow, Massachusetts. Our members are business, community, and professional leaders who meet weekly to plan local and international service projects; host interesting speakers on local, national, and international issues; and enjoy fellowship. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley was chartered by Rotary International on February 24, 2012, the first new Rotary club chartered in District 7910 in over a decade!

For more club information, go to www.nashobarotary.org or contact Club President, Karin Gaffney, at 978-387-5369 or karin.m.gaffney@rbscitizens.com.