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Waiver Of Year’s Support Through Post-Nuptial Agreement

Divorce should put an early end to the marriage vow of “’til death does us part.” But, when it comes to estate disputes, neither divorce nor death can part the path to the courthouse. ...more

Agents Under Power of Attorney – Where Will You Get Hauled Into Court?

Powers of attorney can be matters of convenience or matters of necessity – the principal either doesn’t want to do something or the principal can’t do something. For the agents under a power of attorney, allowing yourself to...more

Beware The Constructive Trust When Relying On ‘Informal’ Estate Distributions

We like when families can work out their estate disputes outside of the courtroom. Georgia, for one, embraces the “family settlement doctrine,” where heirs at law can agree to distribute or divide property devised under a...more

Court Orders Administrator To Elect Portability

When the IRS enacted the portability election provisions in 2011, which allowed estates of married taxpayers to pass along the unused part of their estate and gift tax exclusion amount to their surviving spouse, it remarked...more

Forgiveness May Be Available For An Untimely Caveat

It’s a new year and with it comes many resolutions. Each year, a popular resolution is to be more forgiving or to forgive someone who wronged you. Apparently, trying to get a head start on its resolutions, on December 30, the...more

Expert Testimony Necessary On Standard Of Care? Maybe Sometimes, But Not Always.

Whether a plaintiff needs an expert witness in a breach of fiduciary duty case to testify on the standard of care is a frequently debated topic. In Heisinger v. Cleary, the Supreme Court of Connecticut weighed in on one side...more

House Held In Trust Lost Marital Asset Status

In the afterglow of a wedding, the spouses probably don’t immediately start thinking how the bliss they feel may end spectacularly and expensively. Chances are they may even start estate planning, thinking how they can...more

How Far Can A Grantor Go In Eliminating The Duty To Account?

Trusts are often used to transfer wealth privately without the messiness of a public estate administration. That financial privacy can get blown, however, when trusts become the subjects of very public litigation. ...more

Picking A Conservator: Speak Now Or The Court May Forever Hold Your Peace

Guardianships and conservatorships are seldom happy events. Despite whatever may have precipitated the need for financial or personal protection, there must be an attempt to respect the desires of the ward, if possible. ...more

11/17/2016  /  Conservators , Guardians

The Georgia Superior Court/Probate Court Dance

No procedural or jurisdictional issues in Georgia fiduciary litigation can cause as much headache as the sometimes exclusive and sometimes concurrent jurisdiction of the superior and probate courts. The Georgia Court of...more

When The Power To Amend Doesn’t Actually Mean You Can Amend

Circumstances, laws, and taxes all change. And, when they do, many settlors don’t want their beneficiaries to have to go into court to get permission to roll with the changes. That’s why you often find a trust provision...more

The Mental Capacity Needed To Change Domicile

In litigation, domicile matters because it can control where a lawsuit must be filed and fought. For most of us, where we are domiciled should be straightforward. It’s the place where we actually live and intend to remain. ...more

10/5/2016  /  Domicile , Jurisdiction , Legal Guardian

The Four Corners Of The Trust Instrument Get Tighter

When a court is called upon to decide a trust dispute, it starts by looking at the intent of the settlor. Invariably there is some statement about the court being bound by the “four corners” of the trust. Only if the language...more

Do You Really Want To Use That Power Of Attorney To Give Yourself Something?

In Georgia, an agent acting under a power of attorney can give himself the principal’s property at the principal’s direction. The Georgia Supreme Court reaffirmed that maxim in Anderson v. Anderson....more

Giving Away What You Don’t Know You Have

Under Georgia law, the standard for testamentary capacity requires that a testator remember generally what property is subject to the will’s disposition. You don’t have to know every dollar, where it is, or all your personal...more

Trust Instrument Can’t Completely Insulate Trustee From Liability

Settlors often want to give their trustees peace of mind that they can administer the trust without a court looking over their shoulder and second-guessing every act they take. So, estate planners will often put a broad...more

Filing Trust Modification As Public Record Started Statute Of Limitations

Fiduciaries should always be thinking of ways to get the statute of limitations started. Why have a claim hanging over your head for many years, when you can take actions that shorten the time in which a claim may be brought...more

How Property Was Titled Did Not Control Disposition Of Asset

A deed transfers a lake cottage to a revocable living trust. Title to the cottage is still in the name of that trust when the grantors die. The cottage gets distributed according to the terms of that trust, right? ...more

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