Estate Planning Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.
February 9, 2017 By Cores & Associates, LLC
The purpose of estate planning is to guide the transfer, and management, of your property in a manner that makes sense for your family. While it may sound simple, it can only be achieved through careful planning. Failure to plan carefully may result in unintended beneficiaries receiving your property, or result in unnecessary transfer taxes.
February 9, 2017 By Cores & Associates, LLC
Perhaps one of the most vital, and frequently neglected, aspects of personal and estate planning is legal and financial protection, in the event of incapacity or disability. Many older people, and their families, fear that the onset of physical or mental disability for their elderly loved ones as they advance in age.
February 8, 2017 By HG.org
When making a verbal agreement, it is important to understand that these are considered as binding contracts between parties for the specific topic or issue at hand. Even though the matter is not written or completed with the assistance of a legal professional, it is often binding with certain terms or stipulations.
February 8, 2017 By GRP Rainer LLP
It was a long time coming before the reforms to inheritance tax became finalized. The legislation has since come into force with retrospective effect as of July 1, 2016. The reforms have ramifications for company heirs.
February 1, 2017 By ERP Lawyers & Associates
When investing money, when looking for financing, and even, when you want to safeguard your heritage or own assets for the benefit of your loved ones, there is a word that describes and motivates a person from the thoughts to the actions; that word is: trust.
February 1, 2017 By Cores & Associates, LLC
A trust is an effective tool in estate planning. One of the most popular trust types is a revocable living trust. It offers the creator a flexibility to make changes if and when they are needed.
February 1, 2017 By Cores & Associates, LLC
Unfortunately, it’s a tale as old as time. A death in the family, and in the midst of mourning, the fights start as the will is read. Although it isn’t the case for many families, it’s devastating when it does occur. It’s important to take certain steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen.
February 1, 2017 By Kalish Law Texas
If you are the caregiver for a person who is a minor, or who has an illness or other condition that causes them to be unable to manage their own affairs, then you may have thought about filing a guardianship in a court. You should be aware that there may be alternatives.
January 31, 2017 By Cores & Associates, LLC
What is joint tenancy? It’s a form of joint possession of property. It’s similar to tenancy in common, however, the difference is that joint tenancy includes the survivorship right.
January 5, 2017 By Giambrone Law
If you were a beneficiary of someone who left assets in Spain but you were not yourself a resident of Spain you may have paid a higher rate of inheritance tax and may be due a refund since a ruling in the European Court of Justice in September 2014 which decided that the difference applied between residents and non-residents with regard to the application of inheritance tax and gift tax was discriminatory. The Spanish legislator has therefore been obliged to amend the inheritance tax law.
Most of us get up every day with many things in mind: work, family, responsibilities, studies, all kinds of plans, concerns, joys, good or bad memories, or they simply get up to exercise, eat breakfast, and do what we have to do each day. But, in very few instances we think of something inevitable and essential: death ourself. And we’re not talking about pessimism, it is about being proactive before the inevitable fate all humans should face one day.
When faced with the prospect of imminent death, the testator can prepare a nuncupative will provided certain conditions are met. For this to happen, he needs to still be capable of making a will and three witnesses have to be present.
Calculating the compulsory portion is often a matter of contention when it comes to the distribution of an estate. The Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Koblenz has ruled that the beneficiary of a compulsory portion is also obligated to provide the heir with information.
Gifts made more than ten years ago will no longer be taken into account in inheritance cases when calculating the compulsory portion. Having said that, there are exceptions which render this time limit inapplicable.
Requests for information directed at a co-heir need to be answered with utmost care. That was the verdict of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) München [Higher Regional Court of Munich] in its ruling of February 17, 2016 (Az.: 20 U 126/15).
Hong Kong has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world. If you are an owner of a property enjoying an unobstructed sea view, you will naturally be quite unhappy about the loss of sea view caused by an adjacent development. This occurs quite often in the rapid building city of Hong Kong and was what happened to the plaintiff in the case of Yang Dandan v Hong Kong Resort Company Limited ( HKEC 2050).
Because the process of distributing assets is complex, with many potential pitfalls, it is vital that you seek the advice and services of an experienced probate attorney.
Inheritance and succession issues in relation to UK citizens with assets in Romania are one of the areas about which we are being asked more and more to advise upon. As a Romanian law firm whilst we deal and advise on succession in relation to all countries in respect of Romanian issues, I wish to look briefly at the position so far as a UK succession is concerned
Inheritance Tax Reforms Becoming an Impasse – Making Arrangements for Business Succession in Germany
The reforms to inheritance tax should have been cut and dried long ago. The Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG), Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, is now once again exerting pressure because of the failure to reach an agreement on policy.
In cases involving inheritance disputes, it is possible for the testator’s doctor to be released from doctor-patient confidentiality. That was the verdict of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Koblenz [Higher Regional Court of Koblenz] (Az.: 12 W 538/15).
The motivation appears to be a desire to avoid probate, but probate may be the least of one’s problems if one utilizes any of the above scenarios.
A proactive approach in this situation is to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to guide the individual through the estate planning process which may help avoid some of the pitfalls of undue influence that can arise from caregivers, friends, family and others.
A Durable Power of Attorney allows the principal to authorize another person (your agent) to make financial decisions the principal specifies in the document. It is important to name an agent or agents you can trust to act in your best interest because of the significant authority typically granted in a power of attorney.
The reality is that estate planning is necessary for everyone — no matter the value of their assets.
Why are your children so concerned about your new life? Are they overreacting?
Anyone who does not wish to be subject to the rules of intestate succession can set out arrangements for their estate in a will or contract of inheritance. A contract of inheritance has a strong binding effect.
Even if a married couple has no children, this does not mean that the spouses automatically become sole heirs. That can only be achieved by means of a will or contract of inheritance.
Cyprus offers a reliable and popular solution for foreign nationals who wish to freely administer their estate through a Cyprus International Trust. A Cyprus International Trust can be created by anyone provided of course that the Settlor is of sound mind and of right age.
Succession law varies considerably from one EU country to another . A major step to facilitate cross-border successions was the adoption on 4 July 2012 of European Union rules which will make it easier for citizens to handle the legal side of an international succession.
The law of inheritance and succession in Cyprus is regulated by a number of statutes, the chief of which are the Administration of Estates Law and Wills and Succession Law. In Cyprus, unlike many other countries, one may not exclude completely from his will his/her spouse and/or children. There are statutory restrictions on someone's freedom of testamentary disposition.
The law of succession and inheritance in Cyprus is regulated by a number of statutes, the chief of which are the Administration of Estates Law and Wills and Succession Law. In Cyprus, unlike many other countries, one may not exclude completely from his will his/her spouse and/or children. There are statutory restrictions on someone's freedom of testamentary disposition.
At the demise of a loved, there is the need to administer their estate as per their wishes. If the deceased died testate, then the process of legally administering an estate with a will follows. This process is known as probate.
The provisions of Cyprus succession law are applicable in cases where the deceased in question had been domiciled in Cyprus at the time of death. The issue of 'domicile' can be complicated but generally speaking a deceased person must have lived permanently in Cyprus at the time of death. Even if the deceased person was not a permanent resident in Cyprus at the time of death, Cypriot law will still be applicable if the deceased owned immovable property in Cyprus.
If, after becoming aware of what is termed a “Pflichtteilsstrafklausel” (compulsory portion penalty clause), an heir refrains from asserting his right to a compulsory portion of the estate, he will not be limited to this compulsory portion in the event of succession.
Many UK nationals have purchased in Bulgaria an apartment, a house with land or simply a piece of land in the mountains or near the seaside to build on it or just as an investment. Such properties have been acquired either personally by the investors or through an investor´s owned Bulgarian entity that represented a vehicle to overcome the legal restrictions applicable at that time for the acquisition of land in Bulgaria.
Inheritance in Germany: Gifts During Testator’s Lifetime To Be Considered for Purposes of Compulsory Portion
A testator who makes a gift during his lifetime may give rise to tax advantages. However, any gifts need to be taken into account when calculating the compulsory portion.
If you have been named the executor (a/k/a personal representative) of an estate, you will probably have some questions about your exact duties and responsibilities when it comes to Florida probate.
Germany’s federal government has settled on reforms to inheritance tax. Company heirs can continue to expect favourable tax treatment in the context of business succession.
According to the Florida Bar Association, probate is a court-supervised process of finding and collecting the assets of a deceased person (called the decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the remainder of the assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries
A Berliner Testament (Berlin will) is a widespread form of will in which spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. While this spousal will offers many advantages, it also entails potential disadvantages.
Anyone who does not wish to have their estate distributed in accordance with the rules of intestate succession needs to prepare a will or contract of inheritance. In order to prevent disputes from occurring, it is important that the testator’s final wishes be clear.
Challenging a valid will is very tricky, and the courts are, especially wary about interfering with the wishes of a deceased. Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to contest a last will if a beneficiary believes that the provisions are insufficient. There are justifications that the courts look at when dealing with a will contest.
In succession cases involving real estate, it is particularly important to pay attention to details when it comes to inheritance tax. Those who are not careful may be asked to pay up by the exchequer.
While what are sometimes referred to as patchwork or blended families are no longer unusual today, succession law continues to lag behind social change. For this reason, those concerned ought to give thought to preparing a will early on.
A valid will presupposes a clearly discernible intention to draw up a will and testamentary capacity. These elements are necessary if the testator’s testamentary dispositions are to be implemented.
Deciding to purchase a property is a critical decision. Once you decide to go ahead and make a real estate transaction, you will have to follow all the right and legal channels including conveyancing for you to have peace of mind that you are buying a legitimate asset.
Properties in an estate can often become a problem, not only because this might lead to disputes in cases involving multiple heirs, but also in connection with inheritance tax.
Divorce results in any mutual inheritance claims between former spouses lapsing. However, it is possible for these to indirectly arise again. A “Geschiedenen-Testament” (divorcee will) can then prove to be useful.
Under a very narrow set of circumstances, it is possible for legal heirs to have their entitlement to the statutory compulsory portion revoked. This is evident from a ruling of the Landgericht (LG) Landshut [Regional Court of Landshut] of March 4, 2016 (Az.: 54 O 2287/12).
Many probate and estate planning attorneys act as if everyone should have a trust yet most Americans don’t even have a simple hand written will. Given that trusts can easily cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, it’s a big purchase that shouldn’t be taken lightly, consider the consequences if you do not have a proper trust:
The number one misconception people have about probate is that having a will means no probate; all wills go to probate, whether it was a handwritten or typed, primarily because only the judge can sign over the assets to the beneficiaries.
A “Berliner Testament” is a popular form of will in Germany among spouses, as it enables them to provide each other with financial security and mutually appoint one another as sole heirs. However, it also entails disadvantages such as its strong binding effect.
What Should I Ask an Attorney that Handles Probate and Estate Planning? Ask about their experience; ask them how many probates have they handled in the last 10 years, and ask if they’ve been sued for one.
Today it's more important than every before to plan your estates. People are living longer and thus acquiring more assets, it is imperative that you protect those assets.
According to a ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, discontinuing life-sustaining measures can render the personal responsible unworthy of inheriting in the absence of a living will (Az.: IV ZR 400/14).
Probate is a division of the Superior Court of the State of California. The Probate court has jurisdiction over what are deemed “legally incompetent parties”, generally that includes deceased, disabled, and incapacitated persons. The responsibility of the Probate court is to protect these individuals and their assets.
Family disputes can become deeply entrenched and are then no longer capable of being resolved. This can give rise to the desire to disinherit one’s relatives. For this to happen, a will needs to be prepared.
Most investors and companies that wish to incorporate a company in Romania chose to form a limited liability company (SRL). As Romanian lawyers we are often asked to advise on the type of company to be formed. In many cases we agree with the client’s initial instructions as to the form of the company to be incorporated.
Enjoying one’s twilight years abroad is a dream that an increasing number of Germans are pursuing. However, it is important to bear in mind that this may affect the distribution of one’s estate.
It is particularly easy for disputes to arise in cases involving communities of heirs. Anyone who refuses to accept an official or notarial letter in the context of inheritance disputes may end up drawing the short straw.
Estate planning clients often have a lot of questions about their obligations as a trustee of their living trust. Where the acting trustee is also the creator or “grantor” of the trust, the trustee typically has plenary power to act on behalf of the trust and may amend or even revoke the trust in its entirety.
Chinese attracted by investments in Italian houses: In the last few years Chinese people have been attracted by investments in Italian houses. The are several reasons behind it: obtaining a Schengen Visa is one of them.
Beijing has recently held the twelfth edition of the Luxury property showcase, Real Estate Luxury Fair, promoted by the Ferretti group and Bank of East Asia, which granted space to 120 exhibitors from 35 countries and, above all, welcomed over 6000 visitors.
Spouses that mutually appoint each other as sole heirs in what is termed a “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will) need to be mindful of the binding effect associated with this kind of joint will.
Enhanced life estate deeds, commonly known as “Lady Bird Deeds” provide a legal mechanism for property to pass automatically to a person or group of people without going through Florida probate.
A person’s estate is comprised of everything you own, including your car, house, bank account, life insurance, personal possessions, and retirement account. Estate planning is the process of arranging to distribute your possessions upon your death. It does not need to be expensive or complicated, and knowing your family is taken care of can give you peace of mind.
There are many pressing issues that arise when it comes to succession. For instance, testators have to decide whether they want to rely on the rules of intestate succession or prepare a will or contract of inheritance.
A prerequisite for an effective will is a serious intention on the part of the testator to prepare one. Assessing any intention to draft a will can prove to be critical.
The reforms to inheritance tax need to be in place by June 30, 2016, yet company heirs in particular still do not know what burdens they will be faced with going forward.
If a will is withdrawn from official custody it is deemed to have been revoked according to the law. Having said that, it is possible to contest the revocation under certain circumstances.
Faced with his imminent death, a testator is still able to prepare a nuncupative will, i.e. a will to which three persons are witnesses. However, this needs to satisfy strict conditions for it to be effective.
What law governs The main source of law in the UAE is Sharia in which all laws are formulated and based on. It is considered a public order.
Shariah lays down the relations that qualify as heirs following the death of an individual. The deceased's estate can only be transferred to persons who qualify as heirs under Shariah Law principles. Anyone who does not qualify as an heir gets nothing from the estate.
A Florida land trust is a legal agreement under which the title of real property is vested to a trustee. The beneficiaries of the trust direct the trustee on how to maintain the property. The trust also allows the beneficiaries to collect rent without holding legal title to the property.
Ancillary probate is a mechanism of having two probate proceedings going on at the same time in different states. Whether a person’s estate will be subject to ancillary probate depends on the status of the property he or she owns and state law.
For documents to be recognized as a will, it needs to be possible to discern a serious intention to prepare a will. That was the verdict of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 20 W 155/15).
Heirs who are disappointed with the content of a will may under certain circumstances be able to challenge the will if they have good cause to do so.
The shares in a GmbH form part of a GmbH shareholder’s estate. Accordingly, it is important to settle early on who the company shares will go to in the event of succession.
Florida Probate Guide - a discussion of the different types of probate options in Florida.
In order for a will to be effective, it must be possible to discern a serious intention to draft a will. That was the verdict of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) in its ruling of November 27, 2015 (Az.: 10 W 153/15).
Aiming to clarify the main points of the procedure for inheritance of company shares under the Bulgarian Commercial law
Simply being unhappy with the distribution of assets or the delay of the probate proceeding in general is not sufficient grounds to successfully contest the validity of a last will and testament. An heir of an estate or a beneficiary of a prior will can commence a will challenge based on a number of enumerated grounds.
As you embrace your life changes and follow the goals you set, we would like to encourage you to include Estate Planning on your list. Most of us do not realize the importance of having a Last Will & Testament, a Living Will with Medical Surrogate, Prenuptial/Post-nuptial Agreements, or a Power of Attorney until it is too late. Do you know which option would suit you and your family best?
Calculating an heir’s compulsory portion is challenging if the testator was merely a co-owner of a property. Last year, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) [Federal Court of Justice] had to get to grips with this very issue.
Employers ought not to rely on the rules of intestate succession but instead prepare a will.
The one of advice would be that business owners, especially if the business is successful, it is necessary to think in advance about the solving of the situation after their death, in order to protect the rights of heirs and further preservation of business . Such actions of the testator must concern two aspects: the relevant amendments to the constituent documents of the company; the drafting up of wills in relation to quality of business and business assets.
A person’s Last Will and Testament declares how he or she wants property distributed upon death. This legal document has great power, and courts follow the directions when possible. However, a will contest can disrupt probate proceedings and derail them entirely.
Anybody who fails to prepare a will ought to be aware that the rules of intestate succession shall apply. These are not necessarily consistent with the testator’s wishes and may entail various other disadvantages.
An estate not only encompasses assets but also any debts of the testator. It is possible for the acceptance of an inheritance to be challenged due to a misapprehension regarding commercially material characteristics.
While many individuals have heard of contesting a will, a trust may also be contested in certain circumstances. If a trust is successfully contested, the trust can be modified or even eliminated in some situations.
In general, Heba is an unconditional transfer of property made immediately and without exchange or consideration by one person to another and accepted by or on behalf of the latter.
Although Article 17/1 of the Civil Code of the UAE provides that it is the law of the deceased that shall govern the inheritance at the time of his death, Article 17(5) of the same law provided that UAE law shall apply to wills made by aliens disposing of their real property located in the State. Moreover, Article 1/2 of the UAE Personal Status Law states that "the provisions of the law shall apply to non-UAE nationals unless the foreigner elects to apply his or her personal status law".
In a so-called “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will), spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. This is meant to provide the surviving spouse with economic security. The children are usually designated as final heirs.
In the recent judgment (First Miscellaneous Appeal 218 of 2014), the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh gave its verdict on an important issue which did not get as much attention as it deserves, most probably because, it in a way, only codified the previous stances of the Court in few past cases.
If only a copy of a will is available then high standards will be applied to the hearing of evidence before a certificate of inheritance can be granted.
For most people, Estate Planning is a mystery; for others, it’s simply not a priority for the simple reason that there is always time to do it “later”. Most individuals consider Estate Planning to be an issue for elderly individuals. Unfortunately, it applies to all individuals in any walk of life because we are never promised tomorrow.
According to a ruling of the OLG Schleswig (Higher Regional Court of Schleswig) from July 16, 2015, if a will is not precisely dated then the testamentary disposition may be ineffective (Az.: 3 Wx 53/15).
The new EU succession law regime has been in force since August 17. The EU regulation concerning succession law could have serious implications for both testators and heirs. For this reason, it may be advisable to prepare a will.
According to a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm), it is possible to revoke a life insurance plan even after the policy has already been cancelled (Az.: 20 U 56/14).
The reform of inheritance tax could entail a greater burden on company heirs in the context of business succession than was hitherto thought to be the case. The government’s plans are coming under fire.