Estate Planning Wills

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
News & Analysis as of

North Carolina Changes Trust Code and Permits “Living Probate”

On August 11th, Governor McCrory signed North Carolina Senate Bill 336, Act to Amend the Law Governing Estate Planning and Fiduciaries (the “Act”). Notably, the Act adopts a procedure for living probate in North Carolina and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Marriage To Be a Fundamental Right

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) on June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...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

What Happens to Your Digital Life After Death? Planning for the Transfer Of Digital Assets

Most people do not think about the large digital footprint that they have created. More importantly, they do not think about how their digital assets might pass (or not) at death. Since these assets may have value, either...more

Capacity at Issue? Consider Making a Video

When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a...more

Have You Reviewed Your Estate Plan Recently?

Estate planning has received some recent media coverage with the deaths of celebrities such as Robin Williams, James Gandolfini, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the case of James Gandolfini, the coverage focused on his failure...more

Last-Minute Wills….What Counts?

Monitoring his emails and gazing at the sights on Elafonisi beach in Crete, attorney Al B. Wise receives a desperate 4:30 a.m. (Texas time) email from his best client Betty Makit Williams – “Going under Slim Cutter’s knife in...more

Last Wishes, First Impression: Potential legal issues arise after Munich recluse passes away, bequeathing Nazi-looted art to a...

Cornelius Gurlitt’s notarized will, which did not surface until after his unexpected death this past May, lists the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland as the heir to his vast art collection, which included works by Matisse, Dix,...more

The confusion being engendered by the Uniform Trust Code’s default trust-revocation methodologies (§ 602(c)).

In the pre-Uniform Trust Code UTC), unless the terms of a revocable inter vivos trust provided otherwise, the trust could not have been revoked by the settlor’s will. A will speaks at the time of the testator’s death, an...more

Case Illustrates Dangers of Executing a Will Without Legal Assistance

People sometimes try to save money by not consulting with a qualified attorney when executing their will, instead using a pre-printed form or online program. A recent court case offers yet another example of the hazards of...more

DIY Will is a 'Cautionary Tale'

The Florida Supreme Court Case of Aldrich v. Basile may serve as a cautionary story that online pre-printed forms that allow a user to essentially fill in the blank may not address the specific needs of the individuals using...more

It’s Not Too Late to Use Your Spouse’s Unused Estate Tax Exclusion

In Revenue Procedure 2014-18 the IRS provided an extension of time to those who wished to be sure that a decedent’s surviving spouse could benefit from the concept known as “portability”. In the Procedure, the IRS provides...more

5 Estate Planning Mistakes You Should Try to Avoid

In your experience, what’s the most costly mistake people make when preparing estate plans, and what can they do to fix them? That’s the question we recently put to attorneys writing on JD Supra....more

What’s The Best Way To Pass On A Restaurant At Death?

Most restaurant owners want to provide for their families when they die and protect their assets from liability. However, there are issues if the owner just conveys the real estate in a Will. ...more

When Wills are Contested

Skilled estate planning is essential for ensuring your assets are handled properly and your wealth maximized while you are alive, and for directing the flow of your wealth after you pass away. A well-crafted will is central...more

Estate Planning After Divorce

A good estate plan should be flexible and structured to account for foreseeable life events. However, even the best estate plan cannot accommodate every turn your life may take. Periodic review and tweaking of an estate plan...more

Probate v. Non-Probate: What Is the Difference?

When planning your estate it is important to understand the difference between probate and non-probate assets. Probate is the process through which a court determines how to distribute your property after you die. Some assets...more

Thinking Of Establishing Florida Residency? What To Consider Before Changing Your Legal Residence

Many clients whose family circumstances and employment situation permit them to spend in excess of six months every year in Florida may elect to become Florida residents. The biggest advantage, compared to being Michigan...more

Estate Planning Update: Make Sure to Address Social Media

Think twice before guffawing over the idea of addressing social media in your will. Not only can it make life easier for your survivors, a social media will is recommended by the United States Government....more

Common Estate Planning Misconceptions

Like many areas of law, estate planning is rife with confusion. And it is often misunderstanding that leads to costly mistakes — mistakes that can produce negative effects now or in the future. However, misconceptions...more

Steps to Making Your Will

You probably know you need a will, but do you know what a will is? A will, also called a last will and testament explains your final wishes and instructs how you would like them carried out. A will can do many things...more

Common Reasons for Probate Litigation

When someone dies, the probate process begins. Probate typically involves identifying and inventorying the property of the deceased, appraising the property, paying off debts and taxes, distributing the property according to...more

Florida statute provides confidentiality in disputes involving wills and trusts

Which American president was the first to incorporate arbitration as a dispute resolution method in his will? Every lawyer swears an oath to maintain the secrets of clients. This is the client’s guarantee that when he...more

Where There’s A Will, Is There Always A Way?

After their respective divorces Anita Will married Shelby A. Reck in Oklahoma. At the time each had a child and an Oklahoma home from their former marriages. Following the blissful event each adopted the other’s child, they...more

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