News & Analysis as of

Wills

Personal Planning Strategies - December 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

2018 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

The Truth Why You Need A Will

It’s the holiday season…one of the busiest times of the year. So, it’s a pretty safe bet that folks are not spending time right now thinking about what would happen to their financial assets and material possessions after...more

2017 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory

by Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP on

The fourth quarter of 2017 concludes a unique year in the planning arena. With the new administration and a Republican-led Congress in power, both taxpayers and tax professionals have kept a close eye on the potential for tax...more

A Well-Planned Estate Can Quell Family Squabbles Before They Start

From Esau, who rashly traded his birthright to his twin brother Jacob for a cup of soup, to King Lear’s ill-conceived plan to leave his riches to only two out of three daughters, family dynamics can lead to estate...more

Undue Influence – The Carpenter’s Exception In Will Contests

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In a proceeding contesting the validity of a will, the proponent of the will only has the burden to establish that the will was executed with the required formalities. The burden then shifts to the contestant to establish...more

How to Break Through a "No-Contest Clause" in a Will or Trust in Michigan

by Clark Hill PLC on

After much thought and consideration, Alice decided to update her Last Will and Testament to change the amounts her two sons, Bob and Charles, will receive upon her death. Instead of dividing her estate equally between Bob...more

Spare Your Heirs the Guitar Man’s Fate: Three Tips for an Estate Plan That Silences Arguments Over Family Heirlooms

When Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia died in 1995, he left his custom guitars to the man who made them. But Douglas Irwin, who built the guitars known as Eagle, Wolf, Tiger, Wolf Jr. and Rosebud, ran into opposition...more

Determining Whether There Has Been Undue Influence

The presumption of undue influence when the evidence demonstrates that a person in a confidential relationship with a grantor or testator of weakened intellect receives a substantial portion of the grantor/testator’s property...more

How John Steinbeck’s Estate Planning Missteps Led to Family Feud and $13 Million Jury Award

When celebrated author John Steinbeck died in the late 1960s, he left a considerable literary legacy that included the classic American novels The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and the novella Of Mice and Men. He also...more

The Wrong Estate Executor Can Make Family Drama Worse, As Jerry Garcia’s Heirs Discovered

When Grateful Dead legend Jerry Garcia died of a heart attack in 1995 at age 53, he left his assets to his third wife, three daughters by two ex-wives, a fourth daughter by a former girlfriend, and a step-daughter, among...more

When Is a Will Valid in California?

by Downey Brand LLP on

Although much wealth passes today through trusts and beneficiary designations, we occasionally handle California probate disputes that turn on the validity of wills, sometimes involving high value estates....more

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way?

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

On August 25, 2017, Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals (the “Court”), visited issues arising from the statute providing for the valid execution, particularly attestation, of a Maryland will based on a statute that...more

Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Will Contest Where There Was No Evidence Of Undue Influence

by Winstead PC on

In Estate of Frye, parties filed an application to set aside an order probating a will due to an allegation of undue influence. No. 07-16-00398-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6992 (Tex. App.—Amarillo July 26, 2017, no pet....more

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s Sibling Lawyer!

by Downey Brand LLP on

I’m a sibling lawyer. My career started early, as a middle child, and now continues as a Sacramento-based trust and estate litigation attorney. Most of my clients are grappling with sisters or brothers over the care and...more

Court Reverses Finding of Undue Influence

by Bryan Cave on

Undue influence occurs when a person’s free will is overpowered and replaced by the will of another. In Missouri, a finding of undue influence generally requires the person who exerted influence to have been in a position of...more

How A POA Can Change Your Will

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Delaware Supreme Court has just reached a decision that highlights the importance of taking the time to review your estate planning documents each and every year to ensure that the documents still fit, and not...more

Who Determines How to Celebrate Your Life and the Disposition of You When You Die?

An often-overlooked step in the estate planning process is determining how you want the world to celebrate your life and determining your final resting place. If not addressed, conflict may occur because different loved ones...more

Take It or Leave It: The Perilous Decision of Whether to Violate a No Contest Clause

by Downey Brand LLP on

One of the most dramatic areas of California trust and estate litigation is no contest clauses. No contest clauses bring a made-for-tv excitement to the practice of trust and estate law because of the risk of...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You die without having drafted a will

Where there’s a will, there’s a way — a way to pass assets to heirs in the manner in which a person wants. However, if an individual dies without a will, assets will be distributed according to state law, regardless of the...more

Top Six Reasons NOT to Have an Estate Plan

Tired of bossy blogs telling you to get an estate plan? Good advice is boring. Your life is exciting and should have a dramatic ending. And you can have it. ...more

Wealth Management Update - July 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

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

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2017

In This Issue: - An uncertain tax climate: An estate tax repeal might result in negative tax consequences for some families - A 529 plan can benefit your estate plan - Would a spendthrift trust help achieve your...more

A Will Must Be Signed, Right?

by Dickinson Wright on

Wrong. In a recently published case, the Michigan Court of Appeals took what has previously been taken as fact – that a will needs to be signed for it to be admitted to probate – and turned it on its head. In In re Estate...more

Avoid An Unpleasant Surprise: Review Your Will Regularly

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Many people sign a will and assume they never need to look at it again. As lawyers, we prepare wills that are flexible and deal with multiple possible (even if unlikely) scenarios, but sometimes an unanticipated change and an...more

Forcing the Production of Information in Probate Litigation When You Have Been Disinherited

by Reminger Co., LPA on

Can a disinherited person force the production of information necessary to substantiate the efforts required to pursue a challenge to a Will, beneficiary designation, or Trust? Isolation and manipulation of a loved one by...more

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