Probate

News & Analysis as of

Ashes of a Cremated Decedent are not Property Subject to Division among Heirs [Florida]

The parents of a deceased child were the sole heirs of the child’s estate. The child’s remains were cremated, and the parents could not agree on the final disposition of his assets. The father petitioned the probate court to...more

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

Does a Class Gift to Children Include Adult Adoptees?

The Probate Code says no, in most cases, but a recent court decision said yes. Here’s what happened in Sanders v Yanez (July 30, 2015, H041578) 2015 Cal App Lexis 662....more

Addressing the Residency Question - Trust and Estates Update Vol. 2015, Issue 1

Generally, the first criterion for determining whether an individual is subject to probate or to estate or inheritance tax in a state is the individual’s domicile at the time of his or her death. In an increasingly...more

Connecticut Increases Probate Court Fees for Certain Estates

Connecticut recently enacted legislation that substantially increases probate court fees for certain estates of Connecticut residents dying on or after January 1, 2015. Given that several of you have asked how these changes...more

Transferring Title to a Motor Vehicle in Maryland at Death? Be Careful!

Many people try to avoid probate. Often, title to assets is held in joint names with right of survivorship so that the surviving joint tenant inherits property without the need for probate. But then there is that pesky...more

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

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