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Trust and Estates

Trust and Estates Newsletters

Letters of Instruction

Your will should not mention each one of your possessions because their value and nature change as time goes on. Revising your will upon every change would be both inconvenient and costly. Instead, your will should use general language in addressing the disposal of your possessions. However, it is important that you keep an updated record of all your possessions in order to assist your survivors.

Per Capita and Per Stirpes

Suppose that an intestate is survived by three children and no grandchildren. Who inherits the intestate’s net estate? How much does each person get? For most people, the answer is easy and obvious. Each child takes one-third of the intestate’s net estate.

Powers and Duties of an Attorney-in-Fact

Your attorney-in-fact only has the financial authority you grant him in the document creating a durable power of attorney for finances.

Probate — Overview

In a civilized society, a legal mechanism for dealing with a deceased person’s property is essential. Think of the chaos that would result if, when someone died, the law allowed anyone free access to take all or any part of the deceased person’s property on a “first come” basis. Instead, we have developed a system that protects and sometimes directs the distribution of property on a persons death. Our laws recognize that some order must be maintained in the situation and so they provide, among other things, for what is called the right of “freedom of testation” and a legal process to deal with those estates that have exercised that right, as well as those that have not.

Trusts, Public and Private – III

An express trust is either public or private. A public trust, also known as a charitable trust, is an express trust created for a charitable purpose. If an express trust is not a charitable trust, it is deemed to be a private trust. A private trust is an express trust created to benefit a few persons. This article discusses some aspects of public and private trusts.