Wills

News & Analysis as of

Remarriage & Estate Planning: Common Errors (Part 1)

Marrying again gives us a second chance of happiness, whether our first marriage ended with the death of our spouse or with a divorce. In recent years, remarriage has become even more common, especially as people live longer...more

How To Avoid Leaving Behind Multiple Wills in California

Most people know that it is not ideal to die without leaving behind a will. However, fewer people understand that leaving behind multiple wills can also be a major concern in estate planning – and a problem that can derail...more

International Estate Planning & Drafting Multiple Wills

You may have heard that it is always a mistake to have multiple wills – and this is true if you are a United States citizen who does not have foreign property or assets. However, this rule does not apply to those who may...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

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

Why Creating a Basic Estate Plan is Necessary — At Any Age

At 16 you can drive a car. At 18 you can vote and serve in the military. And at 21 you can order a drink in a bar. But, when is the right time to create an estate plan? When should you create the basic documents that will...more

What Type of Last Will and Testament Should I Have? #EstatePlanningAttorney

Estate planning has a couple of constants and always will. The first is changes in your family and circumstances will always happen. Whatever plan you put in place will, over time need to be adjusted and changed based upon...more

Do same sex couples have the same legal rights as other couples?  [Video]

Phoenix business law firm Jaburg Wilk Estate Planning attorney Beth Cohn talks about the legal rights of same sex couples who are married or are planning to be married. For more information visit www.jaburgwilk.com....more

The New Year is Here: Do You Have the Essential Estate Planning Documents in Place?

Essential Estate Planning Documents - Below is a list and brief overview of the documents most commonly identified as the “essential” estate planning documents. Please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique...more

When Estate Plans and Shareholder Agreements Collide

The Virginia Supreme Court recently provided a reminder of the importance for small business owners to coordinate their estate plan with a shareholder agreement or other corporation, partnership, or limited liability company...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

5 Guardianship Clauses You Need in Your California Will

Writing a will is one of the most important things that you can do for your children: you are ensuring that they will be taken care of after you are gone – both financially and emotionally. However, the time and effort that...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

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

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

Lottery Winner Without A Will Dead After Cyanide Poisoning

According to a sensational report, the widow of a Chicago lottery winner who was poisoned with cyanide fought with the man’s siblings over control of his estate. The battle included a fight over his nearly half a...more

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