News & Analysis as of

Florida Court Provides a Lesson in Nuncupative and Notarial Wills

Many lawyers have not heard the terms “nuncupative wills” and “notarial wills” since they took their bar exams (and some perhaps not even then). A recent Florida case provides us with a real world application of these terms....more

It’s Just a Simple Will

Often times, people believe their wills (or other estate planning documents) are really simple and straight forward. In fact, this assumption is probably the primary reason that some websites generate significant business...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 9/16/15

In a decision in a case entitled In the Matter of the Estate of Charles P. Galatis, Case No. 14-P-579 (September 9, 2015), the Appeals Court addressed what happens when there is a will contest involving two possible wills,...more

Are You Aware That Your Estate Planning Documents Could Be Voided By Disgruntled Heirs?

An heir, beneficiary or interested party could seek to have a person’s testamentary plan voided on one or more grounds after the testator’s death. Such actions are common if the interested party is not satisfied by the...more

Trust and Estate Law: South Dakota Dynasty Trusts 101

Usually, estate planning involves the creation of an updated will, a health care directive, and assigning a power of attorney. But sometimes an estate needs more, especially when a large or growing inheritance is involved....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

"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

Estate Tax Portability: Panacea or Potential Peril?

In 2013, Congress made the estate tax portability rules permanent. Some predicted this would negate the need for advanced estate planning, but two years later, it is clear that portability is not a panacea even for smaller...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

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

Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Missing Wills

The Virginia Supreme Court recently issued a ruling relating to missing wills and the legal standard courts must apply when an original will cannot be found and therefore an executor seeks to probate a copy of the will. While...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

The ABC’s of Estate Planning

What are the “ABC’s” of estate planning? Over the next few weeks we will discuss some simple but important concepts as we discuss the “ABCs” of estate planning. Today we will discuss “A” and “B”....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

Fiduciary News - June 2015

Changes Coming for Pennsylvania Fiduciaries in Their Ability to Access and Manage Digital Assets and Accounts - On January 1, 2015, Delaware became the first state to enact a comprehensive law granting fiduciaries the...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

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

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

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

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