News & Analysis as of

Wills

Undue Influence in Virginia: Does the Undue Influencer Have to Be a Beneficiary?

by LeClairRyan on

Without question, one of the most common estate disputes we see centers around allegations that one person unduly influenced another person to write (or re-write) a will or trust. The typical situation involves an elderly...more

When Military Wills Do Not Contemplate Future-Born Children

by Bryan Cave on

Estate planning probably isn’t high on the priority list for many 20-year-olds, even if they are 20-year-olds serving in uniform. While the Armed Forces may make it easy for those serving our country to get a will, these...more

Court Reverses Trial Court’s Order Denying An Application To Probate A Will As A Muniment of Title

by Winstead PC on

In Ramirez v. Galvan, a probate court denied the application for probate of a will as a muniment of title where the application was filed more than four years after the testator’s death. No. 03-17-00101-CV, 2018 Tex. App....more

US Tax Reform—Changes Impacting High Net Worth Individuals

by White & Case LLP on

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") was signed into law, accomplishing the most far-reaching US tax reform in decades. While the Act contains significant changes that will impact all US taxpayers, this...more

ASCENDING MOUNT SCARPACI: A Lesson In Intestacy, Taking Against A Will & Getting Divorce Grounds Established

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

A Superior Court decision last month by Judges Lazarus, Bowes and Ott reminds divorce practitioners that there are distinctions to be drawn between the rights of intestate surviving spouses and the rights of a surviving...more

Court Held That A Testator Was Partially Intestate And Did Not Leave His Real Property To His Niece Under His Will

by Winstead PC on

In In re Estate of Neal, Larry Ronald Neal executed a will in which he bequeathed his personal property to his niece, Valorie Jean White, and omitted a devise to his daughter. No. 02-16-00381-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10541...more

Delaware Contractarian Principles Prevail in Appeal Over Deceased Ace Hotel Founder’s LLC Interest

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

The sudden death of Alexander Calderwood, the brilliant but troubled co-founder of the Ace brand of hotels, resulted in some fierce litigation between Calderwood’s estate and Calderwood’s LLC co-member over the nature of his...more

Court Held That Will Contestant Expressly Waived Right To Appeal From Bench Trial

by Winstead PC on

In Estate of Crawford, after the first day of a will contest, the parties’ attorneys announced on the record that they agreed that neither party would assert a claim for attorney’s fees via a good-faith finding and that they...more

After a Loved One Passes: Six Important Steps to Know

The days, weeks, and months after the death of a loved one can be emotional and stressful, especially if you are named the executor of your deceased family member or friend’s estate. ...more

Year end is an ideal time to review your estate plan

As of this writing, it’s still anybody’s guess as to whether Congress will enact major tax reform legislation affecting federal gift and estate taxes. This situation casts a large shadow over estate planning at the end of...more

Addressing intellectual property requires careful estate planning

Intellectual property (IP), such as copyrights and patents, can hold enormous value. Whether IP rights are a significant source of wealth or only a small fraction of an estate, it’s critical that it be properly addressed in...more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2017

In This Issue: - When should you turn down an inheritance? - Addressing intellectual property requires careful estate planning - Year end is an ideal time to review your estate plan - Estate planning pitfall: You’re...more

Roger Corman’s Sons Claim Their Mother is Abusing Him to Influence His Estate Plan

The two sons of legendary “B-Movie King” Roger Corman have made it clear through multiple lawsuits that they believe their parents are mismanaging trusts set up to benefit their four children. Allegations made in a recent...more

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

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