Beneficiaries Wills

News & Analysis as of

Should You Create Trusts for Your Kids?

If your children are under age eighteen, you should have trusts for them in your Wills, in the event you and your spouse should die before all your children reach age 18. If minors receive assets prior to reaching age...more

UPDATE: Can an Intended (and Disappointed) Beneficiary Still Sue a Will’s Drafter?: The General Assembly of Virginia Enacts a...

Back in the summer I wrote a post discussing the impacts of the Thorsen decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia. In Thorsen, a testator wanted to leave her estate to a charity if her daughter did not survive her. The...more

Do You Have a “Day After” Insurance Policy?

Insurance is a form of risk management, designed to minimize the loss associated with certain events like flood, fire, accidents, disability, and even death. Most insurance requires an agent and the payment of premiums. ...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2017

In This Issue: - Stretch out estate tax on business interests - Maintaining family harmony: Balance beneficiaries’ needs with a total return unitrust - Is a donor-advised fund right for you? - Estate planning...more

Children are Children, Right?

An interesting Will interpretation question arose in Matras Estate, 2016 ABQB 728 regarding the meaning of the word “children”. It mattered because the testator's Will left her personal effects and the residue of her estate...more

HEIRS ACCORDING TO SHARIAH - Principles of Succession

Shariah lays down the relations that qualify as heirs following the death of an individual. The deceased's estate can only be transferred to persons who qualify as heirs under Shariah Law principles. Anyone who does not...more

Wealth Management Update - December 2016

December Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The December § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

What You Should Know About Determining Capacity in Ohio

One definition of “capacity” refers to the maximum amount/number that something can contain (e.g., a freezer’s capacity is 1.1 cubic feet; the capacity of a public room is 140 people). “Capacity” also describes an ability to...more

4 Must-Have Documents When Planning Your Estate

President Abraham Lincoln. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Singer/songwriter Bob Marley. NFL quarterback Steve McNair. Singer/songwriter...more

Do It Yourself Wills: Will They Lead to More Litigation?

Here’s my prediction: do it yourself wills, also referred to as “homemade wills” or “online wills” or “internet wills” (I’ll refer to them in this blog post as “DIY Wills”) will result in a significant (though not massive)...more

Who Would Inherit Darth Vader’s Estate?

Who would be the beneficiary of the estate of Darth Vader? The answer is more than just an exercise in Star Wars fiction; in fact, the answer can teach us important lessons about estate disputes in our real world....more

Court Interprets Will’s Residuary Clause To Create A Determinable Fee Simple Estate

In In re Estate of Morgenroth, a mother died testate with a will that gave specific devises to her two children, a son and daughter. No. 05-15-00777-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7857 (Tex. App.—Dallas July 25, 2016, no pet....more

Still Haven’t Prepared a Will? You Could be Leaving A Mess for your Spouse/Partner

Statistics show that more than 50% of Americans die without having a Last Will and Testament. People tend to put off this important planning because they are either procrastinators (“I’ll worry about it later!”) or...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2016

In This Issue: - Alternate valuation date: Flexible postmortem planning a plus when markets are volatile - The write stuff: A letter of instructions - Making the most of your GST tax exemption - Estate...more

Napkin Theory Saves the Day [Florida]

Renee established and funded a revocable trust, with charitable residuary beneficiaries at her death. The trust was revocable, but it did not provide a method for revocation. Four years later, Renee prepared a will that...more

Unfulfilled Expectations: May an Intended (and Disappointed) Beneficiary Sue a Will’s Drafter?

Imagine the following scenario.  Your elderly mother, your only surviving parent, wants to have a discussion with you about her estate plan.  She shows you her will and explains her intentions.  You look at the will and it...more

The Unintended Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan

Nobody likes to think about death, but failing to plan for it can cause unintended consequences for loved ones. Prompted by the death of Prince, a client recently came to see me. He had read in the news that heirs to...more

How Non-Probate Assets Can Affect Your Estate Plan: A Few Cautionary Tales

When you think about the control of your possessions and assets after your death, you probably think of a Will and probate. A Will is a written, legally enforceable declaration that states how you wish your assets to be...more

Estate Planning Litigation Attorney | When a Will May Not be the Way

We read in the Bible the parable of a rich man who had the problem of figuring out what to do with all of the goods he had accumulated. He determined to build larger barns to store all that he had. However, God told the man...more

Court Reverses Finding Of Undue Influence In A Will Contest And Discusses Requirements To Execute A Will

In In re Estate of Kam, an elderly man executed a new will to omit any gift to one son after the man discovered that his life insurance had been altered to name his son as the sole beneficiary. No. 08-14-00016-CV, 2016 Tex....more

It’s Just a Simple Will

Often times, people believe their wills (or other estate planning documents) are really simple and straight forward. In fact, this assumption is probably the primary reason that some websites generate significant business...more

Estate Planning for Young Families

Proper estate planning for young families is essential, despite often being overlooked by both clients and attorneys. Many young families view their estate as being “simple” because in their minds they “don’t have much,” and...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

Fiduciary News - June 2015

Changes Coming for Pennsylvania Fiduciaries in Their Ability to Access and Manage Digital Assets and Accounts - On January 1, 2015, Delaware became the first state to enact a comprehensive law granting fiduciaries the...more

ERISA 8th Circuit: Deciding Who Is The Beneficiary — The Abuse Of Discretion Standard Trumps The Substantial Compliance Doctrine

Sometimes determining the correct beneficiary for ERISA-governed life insurance benefits can present real challenges. Can the deceased’s will prove the deceased’s intent designating the correct beneficiary? It...more

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