Probate

News & Analysis as of

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Latest Challenge by IRS to Family Valuation Discounts

Overview. Many sophisticated estate planning techniques include gifts, sales or other transfers to family members that incorporate significant discounts on the value of the property transferred. These discounts can range from...more

"Duke" Blazes a New Trail in Estate Law - California Supreme Court Reverses Course, Changing 50 Years of Precedent

The California Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated decision in Estate of Duke July 27, 2015, changing the way in which all state courts evaluate wills prospectively. At issue was a rule established by the Supreme Court...more

Connecticut Budget Set To Impact The State's Highest Earners

Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed a budget package, retroactive to January 1st of this year, which increases the income tax rate for the state's highest earners and makes some notable changes to estate taxes and probate...more

Lost Wills: What To Do When The Original Can’t Be Found

Virginia law requires that an original will be probated (as opposed to a copy). Occasionally, this poses a problem as no one can locate the original will. In those instances, Virginia law provides that a proponent of a...more

Can workers’ compensation be granted to a deceased worker’s estate?

A recent Oregon case brings up an issue that may concern Illinois workers. The case, Sather v. SAIF, involves a man who died while in the process of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. ...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- May 2015

In Lesanto v. Lesanto, Case No. 12-P-1111, 2015 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 318 (April 21, 2015), the Appeals Court reversed a judgment of the Probate Court reforming a trust. ...more

Direct vs. Indirect Probate Court Jurisdiction Over Foreign Realty

A state probate court generally does not have jurisdiction over real property situated in another state or country that was owned by the decedent. Generally, such property must be administered in those local jurisdictions,...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Probate/Quit Claim Deeds: trial court correctly ordered personal representative to issue deeds conveying properties to son and mother, subject to life estate held by son – Ciungu v. Bulea, Case...more

Nine Fiduciary Accounting No Nos

When you’re a fiduciary under California’s Probate Code, such as a guardian or conservator, you’ll be required to prepare some type of fiduciary accounting for the court. You’ll probably hire an accountant to crunch the...more

In Defense of Probate

A critical goal of estate planning is to ease the burdens of administering the client’s estate for her beneficiaries. Clients rightfully wish to streamline the process for settlement of their affairs and seek guidance on how...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - January 2015

As 2014 came to a close, Massachusetts state and federal courts issued decisions concerning a number of issues of interest to estate planning attorneys and probate litigation attorneys, including testamentary capacity,...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2014

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

Who Should Be My Life Insurance Beneficiary? #EstatePlanningAttorney

The question, “who should be your designated beneficiary under your life insurance policy” is a very important family decision that should be made after careful consideration of all relevant family and financial goals in...more

California Trust Attorney – Three Things You Should Know About a Trust

What is a trust and how does it differ from a will? Before planning your California trust you should know three important things: 1. A Trust Defined - A trust provides for the allocation of assets when you...more

Appellate Court Notes

?AC35507 - State v. Wright - ?AC35289, AC36395 - Southport Congregational Church-United Church of Christ v. Hadley - The doctrine of equitable conversion did not apply when the decedent contracted to sell real...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter – August 2014 #1

After a quiet start to the summer for probate litigation cases, the Supreme Judicial Court recently issued its much-anticipated decision in The Woodward School for Girls, Inc. v. City of Quincy, Case No. SJC-11390, 2014 Mass....more

Real Estate Tip - Keep It in The Family?

Using a will to give a commercial building to a loved one, a business partner or even a charitable organization is not ideal planning. Adverse tax consequences, the public probate process and operational difficulties aside,...more

Tales of Hoffman: Postmortem Planning for Actor’s Estate

The tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has given us an opportunity to consider his estate planning, with lessons and strategies for the rest of us....more

51 Flavors: A Survey of Small Estate Procedures Across the Country

Properly navigating a probate administration in any one state can be challenging enough, but often the client’s estate—and the attorney’s practice—is not so neatly confined within one state’s boundaries. Fortunately, for...more

Guide for Hong Kong Clients on Obtaining BVI Grants of Probate

Because BVI companies are widely used in Hong Kong for various purposes, it important for clients to understand the nuances and intricacies of obtaining grants of probate and administration in the BVI. Contrary to popular...more

Privacy or Property? Arizona Court Adopts Post-Mortem Right of Publicity In Intra-Family Online Dispute

The right of publicity, i.e., the right not to have others appropriate your name or image for commercial purposes, is an odd duck. It was described by Professor Prosser in 1960, and later in the Restatement of Torts, as of...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

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

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