Wills

News & Analysis as of

What is Undue Influence in Will Caveat Cases?

In order to set aside a Will after a person has died, a Caveator (the person attacking the Will) has three courses of action under the law. First, he can assert that the Testator (the person making the Will) was incompetent...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You’ve videotaped your will

Technology enables a deceased person to express wishes to his or her assembled family from beyond the grave, but states generally require wills to be physical documents that are written, signed and properly witnessed during a...more

Court Holds That A One-Line Will Should Have Been Admitted To Probate

In In the Estate of Setser, the decedent signed a 1993 will naming his daughter as the sole beneficiary. No. 01-15-00855-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 937 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] February 2, 2017, no pet. history). Later,...more

Good Advice for Everyone: Ten Steps to Avoid Big Trouble

On both a business and individual level, there are ten easy steps you can take now to avoid big trouble later. If you address just five of these items this month, you will be half way there. Originally published in the...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - February 2017

Several recent decisions serve as a good reminder that it is not only the Probate and Family Court that addresses important T&E issues in Massachusetts. In the consolidated matters of Hanna et al. v. Williams et al.,...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2017

In This Issue: - Stretch out estate tax on business interests - Maintaining family harmony: Balance beneficiaries’ needs with a total return unitrust - Is a donor-advised fund right for you? - Estate planning...more

Executor’s Duties Before Receiving Letters

A nominated executor is obliged to secure estate assets even before the issuance of letters testamentary, or preliminary letters testamentary (see Matter of Schultz, 104 AD3d 1146 [4th Dept. 2013]). Courts have recognized...more

Wealth Management Update - February 2017

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

Children are Children, Right?

An interesting Will interpretation question arose in Matras Estate, 2016 ABQB 728 regarding the meaning of the word “children”. It mattered because the testator's Will left her personal effects and the residue of her estate...more

10 Arguments Against Pre-Death (Antemortem) Probate and Will Contests

There are a handful of states that allow a person to probate a will (and challengers to contest the validity of a will) before the testator (the person enacting the will) dies. In recent years, there has been a trend to...more

Will Caveats Or “The Family Feud”

The North Carolina Court of Appeals on December 20, 2016, issued an opinion in a case involving a Will Caveat that arose in Alamance County. The facts of this recent case illustrate very clearly the emotional and contentious...more

Lessons to be Learned From the Power of Attorney

Powers of attorney and trust instruments have each been the subject of many an estate plan. They each have also been the subject of multiple estate litigations. In combination, the two have served as fodder for controversies...more

A Guide To: How to Challenge a Will in Michigan

The vast majority of people who pass away leave behind property to their family, friends, and loved ones. Although there are a number of options available to an individual when planning for the disposition of his or her...more

Court Affirms Denial Of Statutory Bill Of Review From A Trust Contest

In In re Estate of Kam, Kam sought to set aside an order probating her brother’s will via a statutory bill of review because he purportedly lacked the requisite testamentary capacity to execute the will or the will was the...more

Sharp as a Tack . . . Clear as a Bell

Very often, when the proponent of a will (and sometimes even the attorney-draftsperson or witness) is questioned about the decedent’s mental state and the decedent’s instructions, the reflexive response is that the decedent...more

HEIRS ACCORDING TO SHARIAH - Principles of Succession

Shariah lays down the relations that qualify as heirs following the death of an individual. The deceased's estate can only be transferred to persons who qualify as heirs under Shariah Law principles. Anyone who does not...more

Top Four Estate Disputes from 2016

With the end of 2016 upon us, now is a fitting time to look back at some of the top estate disputes from this past year. 2016 was a typical year in that, unsurprisingly, people continued to die and families continued to fight...more

iWill or iWon’t

Ever wondered what will happen to your Facebook page when you die? The California Legislature has recently weighed in. Effective as of January 1, 2017, California will have its first law to specifically address the handling...more

Some Not So Obvious Reasons to Have a Will

Many times I have heard the following questions from prospective clients: “If my things will pass to my spouse and children automatically, why do I need a Will?” or “My estate is not large enough to be subject to estate...more

Gurlitt Bequest to Kunstmuseum Bern is Upheld

Cousin Had Challenged His Capacity to Make a Will Shortly Before 2014 Death - After a two-year legal battle, the Oberlandesgericht in Munich has upheld the dismissal of Uta Werner’s challenge to the will made by...more

Wealth Management Update - December 2016

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

What You Should Know About Determining Capacity in Ohio

One definition of “capacity” refers to the maximum amount/number that something can contain (e.g., a freezer’s capacity is 1.1 cubic feet; the capacity of a public room is 140 people). “Capacity” also describes an ability to...more

Personal Planning Strategies - December 2016

2017 Estate, Gift and GST Tax Update: What This Means for Your Current Will, Revocable Trust and Estate Plan - As we previously reported, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the "Act") made the following permanent:...more

6 estate planning techniques for blended families

A “blended family” is more than just a staple of TV sitcoms. Today, it’s not unusual for a household to include children and even grandchildren from prior marriages, as well as adopted family members or same-sex couples....more

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

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