Trust and Estates Newsletters
A will is a legal document that explains where a person wants or does not want his property to go after his death. A will becomes effective upon death and until then, it can be revoked or amended. If a person dies without a will, a court will determine where his property goes according to state law.
Today, the standard method of making a will is the formal witnessed written will, sometimes called an attested will. However, today's formal witnessed will has roots in other methods of making a will. The first wills in medieval England were the oral wills recognized by church-related courts. Some states permit one or more of the historic methods of making a will. This article discusses handwritten and orals wills. Contact your lawyer to learn if these methods of will making are permitted in your state.
When a person dies intestate (without making and leaving a will), each state provides a default plan (usually known as the statute of descent and distribution) under which his or her net estate is disposed. When a person dies intestate, there is no adding to the default plan. The default plan is the only plan. This article discusses the disadvantages of descent and distribution related to the inability to add to the default plan.
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.
If you execute a power of attorney for finances document, you can revoke or cancel it at any time as long as you are mentally competent to do so. This means that you must understand the consequences of signing the revocation. You probably will not encounter any problems if you revoke a power of attorney that has not been given effect. However, a court proceeding may be necessary if you revoke a springing power of attorney that has been given effect (i.e., doctors have declared you to be incapacitated) and your attorney-in-fact refuses to accept that the revocation is valid.