News & Analysis as of

Wills Beneficiaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What You Can Do To Minimize the Likelihood of Someone Contesting Your Will

by Moskowitz LLP on

In our first two posts in this series, we discussed who has legal standing to challenge a will and what grounds may form the basis of a will contest. In this third and final post on will contests, we will introduce a few...more

Who Can Bring Forth a Challenge

by Moskowitz LLP on

Following Richard Pratt’s death in 2009, Madison Ashton claimed that she had left her profession as a sex worker to become the Australian billionaire’s kept mistress. Pratt had apparently promised the former Penthouse Pet a...more

The Best Housewarming Gift for the Unmarried Couple: An Estate Plan

“Thinking too long about doing something is often the reason it never gets done.” –Everyday Life Lessons - In recent years, a growing number of Americans are deciding to cohabitate instead of getting married or...more

On Its Own Motion

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

While most decisions rendered by the Surrogate’s Court result from an affirmative request for relief, occasionally the court will address an issue on its own motion when justice or the exercise of its inherent or statutory...more

Estate planning during divorce: It’s never too early to start

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Estate plans prepared for married couples will vary in complexity and detail but generally follow the same theme: The revocable trust or will typically provides that upon the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse...more

Why You Should Create A Will: What's Stopping You?

Having a will is imperative to ensure that your money and belongings are distributed according to your wishes after your death. Wills can distribute property, name an executor and guardians for children, forgive debts and...more

Proper Estate Planning May Prevent a Will Contest

Will contests are a sad reality and while there is no guarantee, with proper planning a contest may be avoided. A will contest occurs when a disgruntled potential beneficiary of an estate challenges the validity of a Will. ...more

Should You Create Trusts for Your Kids?

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

If your children are under age eighteen, you should have trusts for them in your Wills, in the event you and your spouse should die before all your children reach age 18. If minors receive assets prior to reaching age...more

UPDATE: Can an Intended (and Disappointed) Beneficiary Still Sue a Will’s Drafter?: The General Assembly of Virginia Enacts a...

by LeClairRyan on

Back in the summer I wrote a post discussing the impacts of the Thorsen decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia. In Thorsen, a testator wanted to leave her estate to a charity if her daughter did not survive her. The...more

Do You Have a “Day After” Insurance Policy?

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Insurance is a form of risk management, designed to minimize the loss associated with certain events like flood, fire, accidents, disability, and even death. Most insurance requires an agent and the payment of premiums. ...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

Children are Children, Right?

by Bennett Jones LLP on

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

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