Wills

News & Analysis as of

Law Passed Amending NPCL

Over the summer, we posted about Bill No. A. 10365B/S. 7913, containing amendments to the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) and the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (the “EPTL”) here. After...more

A Post-Mortem, Spousal Surprise: Can My Husband Write Me Out of His Will?

Imagine this potentially devastating situation. Your spouse unexpectedly dies. You find his will and discover, shockingly, that he left everything to his adult son (or his mistress)! Is there anything you can do? This...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - November 2016

There has not been much case law of particular relevance in the T&E area since our last newsletter, but three recent federal court decisions—one from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and two from the United States District...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

Private Ruling Exempts Property Management Services from Self-Dealing

A new private ruling may be of great interest to clients with substantial real estate interests who wish to contribute one or more properties to a family foundation. The ruling suggests that payment by the foundation to a...more

Court Affirms Finding That Will Was Lost And Not Revoked

In In the Estate of Burrell, a trial court admitted a copy of will to probate, and a contestant appealed. No. 09-14-00345-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 10421 (Tex. App.—Beaumont September 22, 2016, no pet. history). This case was...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19516 - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp. SC19516 Concurrence - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp. SC19516 Concurrence - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America...more

California Passes Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

On September 24, 2016, the Governor of California approved the California Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which “would authorize a decedent’s personal representative or trustee to access and manage...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

Wealth Management Update - September 2016

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

Is Your Will Up to Date? - Trusts and Estates Update Volume 2016, Issue 1

Once again, a celebrity dies, and people are shocked that he died without a will. Just this past April, after the death of the well-known artist Prince, we learned that he did not have a will, and controversy is swirling...more

Court Affirms Dismissal Of Will Contest Based On Public Policy Arguments Arising From Sexual Abuse Allegations

In Merrick v. Helter, a daughter who accused her father of sexual abuse attempted to void her father’s will based on public policy grounds. No. 03-14-00708-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8966 (Tex. App.—Austin August 18, 2016, no...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

Court Grants Mandamus Relief To Void Order Naming An Executor More Than Three Years After Admitting Will To Probate As A Muniment...

In In re Squyres, in 2012, Baker filed with the probate court an application to probate a will as a muniment of title. No. 01-16-00236-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8509 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] August 9, 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

The write stuff: A letter of instructions

When drafting an estate plan, the centerpiece is a will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of an estate. A valid will or living trust can be...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

Why Every Parent in Alberta Should Have a Will

As a young, healthy parent, you may believe that having a Will is the last thing on a long priority list. However, while a Will is vital for everyone, those with children should be particularly mindful of the primary...more

Court Voided Judgment Based On Family Settlement Agreement Where Party Revoked Consent

In In re Estate of Spiller, a party appealed an order admitting a will to probate and ordering the independent administrator to distribute the estate in accordance with a family settlement agreement. No. 04-15-00449-CV, 2016...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

Court Affirms A Rule 202 Pre-Suit Deposition Order In A Will Contest And Discusses The Acceptance-Of-The-Benefits Doctrine

In In re Meeker, individuals sought a mandamus to reverse a trial court’s order granting a Rule 202 pre-suit deposition order. No. 02-16-00103-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6883 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 29, 2016, original...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

Court Reverses A Probate Order Requiring An Executor To Distribute Real Property Free Of Any Liens

In In re Estate of Heider, a probate court ordered that an executor should distribute real property to a beneficiary free of liens. No. 05-14-00436-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5978 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....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

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