News & Analysis as of

Wills

Choosing Retirement Account Beneficiaries Requires Some Thought

While the execution of wills requires formalities like witnesses and a notary, the reality is that most property passes to heirs through other, less formal means....more

Rolling the Dice on Costs of Estate Litigation

by Field Law on

Alberta Courts have been busy on the topic of costs in estate litigation in the past few months. Four recent decisions issued out of three judicial centres in Alberta provide a good reminder of just how unpredictable...more

Who Would Inherit Luke Skywalker’s Estate?

by LeClairRyan on

Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers about the recent Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. At the climax of The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker appears via Force Projection on the planet Crait to confront his nephew Kylo Ren...more

Estate Planning for Millennials and the “Middle Class”

With all the changes in the new tax laws, some people may be hesitant to move forward with an estate plan. It is important, however, to keep in mind that most clients will not be subject to the federal estate tax and...more

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Administration

by Field Law on

March 9th marked the 21st anniversary of the death of Christopher Wallace, or probably better known to you as legendary rap artist Notorious BIG or Biggie. Wallace died at the age of 24 after being shot in Los Angeles. The...more

Harper Lee’s Will Unsealed

As The New York Times recently reported, the will of Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was recently unsealed in connection with a lawsuit seeking access to the document. Ms. Lee died a resident of Monroeville,...more

Doctors Notes for Will Signings: Should You Get One?

by LeClairRyan on

I recommend that before an ill or very elderly person signs a will (or trust), that the estate planning attorney obtain a note from a doctor as to the person’s mental capacity. Doing so will help create a record that will...more

Will the “Real” Representative Please Stand – Litigation in Estate Proceedings

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

Last month, the Supreme Court of South Carolina, in Fisher v. Huckabee, 2018 WL 1076808 (Feb. 28, 2018), addressed the question of who may bring a suit on behalf of a deceased individual if the personal representative has a...more

Georgia Superior Court Could Not Sanction Probate Court Conduct

by Bryan Cave on

Probate court practice can be quirky, fraught with procedural peculiarities and appellate traps for those who do not regularly practice there. Appeals from a Georgia county probate court to that county’s superior court – an...more

The New Estate Tax Law – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Increase in Exemption from Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes - On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") was signed into law. The Act implements a variety of significant tax reforms....more

When Beneficiaries are Not Heirs

The terms Beneficiary and Heir both refer to someone who receives an inheritance after someone passes away. However, while the terms are often used interchangeably, they do not always refer to the same individual or set of...more

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

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