A recent decision issued by the Supreme Court of Alabama highlights the importance, for both creators and beneficiaries of trusts, of understanding whether a trust is Revocable or Irrevocable, and the consequences that flow from that distinction.
Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
Any trust has three players: a Settlor, a Trustee, and a Beneficiary. » Read More
The care of an elderly parent can present an existential threat to family harmony and unity even in the closest of families. Even in large families where caregiving responsibilities can ostensibly be shared equitably, it is not uncommon for one or more children to shoulder much more of the burden than the others. » Read More
Following our post about vampire blogs, as the calendar turns to October and we approach Halloween, we’ll take a quick look at another other-worldly topic: how the decedent’s voice is admissible in estate litigation from beyond the grave.
Parties and other witnesses in estate litigation will frequently rely on or reference conversations they claim to have had with the deceased; and the attorney who drafted the document at issue, such as the decedent’s will or trust, is often viewed as a critical witness. » Read More
One of the most enduring myths about Wills is that if you leave someone $1 (or some other nominal amount) in your Will, that person cannot contest it. Implicit in this reasoning is that the Will also contains a so-called “no-contest” clause, sometimes known by its more sinister label, the “in terrorem” clause, which says that any provisions for someone who contests the Will are revoked. » Read More
We all know what certain words mean, particularly in the context of family. We know who our spouse is, who our children are, and who our grandchildren are. But sometimes it’s not that simple, and it becomes necessary to go beyond written words to determine someone’s true intention. » Read More
You don’t have to be a lawyer to be familiar with the concept of a “Statute of Limitations.” In other words, legal rights must be asserted within a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
Prior blog posts (here and here) have addressed this issue in the context of estates and trusts. » Read More
The act of making a Last Will and Testament can be fraught with emotion for obvious reasons. It is not uncommon for people to specifically exclude someone who might otherwise be a “natural object of their bounty” (see my prior post here), such as a child, grandchild, etc… for a variety of reasons. » Read More
In a prior blog post, we addressed what it means to be an “Omitted Spouse.” If a Will made before marriage makes no provision for a future spouse, the surviving spouse is, with some exceptions, entitled to an “intestate share” of the deceased spouse’s estate. » Read More
A Fiduciary is a person placed in a position of trust, whether as an Executor, Agent under a Power of Attorney, Health Care Agent, or Trustee. Any Fiduciary has a sacred legal duty to carry out the responsibilities bestowed by the governing document, whether it is a Will, Power of Attorney, Health Directive, or Trust Agreement. » Read More