Trust and Estates Newsletters
As executor, your first step in settling the decedent's estate is to find all of the decedent's assets. You must then figure out which assets belonged solely to the decedent so that you can protect them until they can be distributed either according to the decedent's will or state intestacy laws. Finding such assets can be a challenge.
To revoke a power of attorney for finances, you can either destroy all copies of the document or execute a notice of revocation. Execution has a few technical requirements that must be complied with before revocation can be regarded as legally valid and it is the preferred method because it generates proof of revocation.
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.
One of the main purposes for making and leaving a will is to guide the administration of the estate of the testator--the person who made the will. A will should be written in language that is clear and indisputable. Alas, the language in a will may be unclear or vague. This article discusses the will interpretation and construction issues of lapse and mistake.
A trust has five main elements. First, a settlor transfers some or all of his or her property. Second, the property transferred by the settlor is designated trust property. Third, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred with the settlor's intent that it be managed by another. Fourth, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred for management by a trustee. Fifth, the trust property designated by the settlor is managed by a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary.