Estate Planning Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.
August 23, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
August 18, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
August 15, 2016 By Carter Capner Law
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.
August 10, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
August 1, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
July 28, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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).
July 28, 2016 By The Law Firm of Steven F. Bliss, Esq.
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:
July 26, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
July 26, 2016 By The Law Firm of Steven F. Bliss, Esq.
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.
July 22, 2016 By The Law Firm of Steven F. Bliss, Esq.
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.
July 19, 2016 By The Law Firm of Steven F. Bliss, Esq.
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.
July 15, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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).
July 14, 2016 By The Law Firm of Steven F. Bliss, Esq.
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.
July 13, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
July 12, 2016 By Hammond, Minciu and Associates
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.
July 8, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
July 7, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
July 5, 2016 By Gehres Law Group, P.C.
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.
June 30, 2016 By Jurado & Farshchian, P.L.
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.
June 30, 2016 By Boccadutri International Law Firm
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.
June 30, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
June 30, 2016 By Boccadutri International Law Firm
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.
June 22, 2016 By Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C.
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.
June 20, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
June 20, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
June 16, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
June 15, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
June 14, 2016 By GRP Rainer LLP
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.
June 8, 2016 By Hassan Elhais
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.
June 8, 2016 By Hassan Elhais
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.
May 31, 2016 By HG.org
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.
May 31, 2016 By Jurado & Farshchian, P.L.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Employers ought not to rely on the rules of intestate succession but instead prepare a will.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People unfamiliar with Florida probate law can make some unfounded assumptions about what happens to debt and property after a family member dies. Here are two of the most common myths and the actual facts.
Switzerland is searching for missing account holders or their heirs. With several million francs said to be sitting “unclaimed” in Swiss accounts, succession could prove to be profitable.
In cases involving a Berliner Testament (Berlin will) or spousal will, the spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. This can lead to certain drawbacks, e.g. if the surviving spouse remarries.
It is possible for children who are appointed as final heirs in a Berliner Testament (Berlin will) to ultimately come away empty-handed. To afford the children greater protection, a so-called Wiederverheiratungsklausel (remarriage clause) can be inserted into the will.
Assets are not a given when it comes to an inheritance; it is also possible for the estate to include debts. If that is the case, it may make more sense to reject rather than accept the legacy.
What does residue mean as a legal definition, and how is it important in a California probate lawsuit?
A will is considered the final words of an individual and as such, it is given much consideration by the court. Trusts are created during the lifetime of the settlor. If a person believes that a will or trust does not reflect the desires of the testator or grantor, he or she may choose to contest the will or trust.
To ensure that the “final wishes” laid down in a will can actually be implemented, they ought to be defined in the most detailed manner possible, as demonstrated by a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) (Az.: 15 W 98/14).
When it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one, one of the last things that any family member wants to do is call a probate or estate attorney. This is understandable given that the family is grieving with the loss. Finding a lawyer should be not be a complicated matter. Finding the right lawyer to handle an estate, whether it requires planning or for the will to be probated, however, requires due diligence.
There is a misconception among the young and single that there is no need for them to have an estate plan - that at this point in their young lives an estate plan serves no useful purpose.
It is possible for a joint will to remain valid even after a divorce under certain circumstances. That was the decision of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 20 W 520/11).
“Per Stirpes” literally means “by roots or stocks; by representation” and is used interchangeably with “right of representation” by estate planning attorneys when referring to a particular method for distributing assets of a decedent. Another common method for distributing assets is referred to as “per capita”. Using ther method, each member of the same generation of a decedent will receive an equal share of the decedent’s estate.
Many of our estate planning clients have heard about a Financial Power of Attorney but are not clear as to why they should have one or how they might benefit from having this legal document. At the outset, it is important to consider, “Who takes care of my financial interests if I become incapacitated and unable to handle my own financial affairs?”
The line of succession can be altered by means of a will or contract of inheritance. Going as far as divesting legal heirs of their compulsory portion is only possible under certain circumstances.
It is not unusual for an elderly patient to develop a close and trusting relationship with a health aid or other helper. The patient may wish to show appreciation by offering gifts. However, there are many considerations concerning this act that must be evaluated before the patient ventures to offer a gift to someone of this nature.
Around three trillion euros will be passed on in Germany between 2015 and 2024. That is the finding of a study by the Deutsches Institut für Altersvorsorge (German Institute for Retirement Provision).
In its judgment of August 19, 2015, the OLG Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf) ruled that a will that was drawn up shortly before an operation remained valid even after the operation (Az.: I-3 Wx 191/14).
In the absence of a will, the rules of intestate succession come into force. A handwritten will is only effective, however, if it meets certain conditions.
A testamentary disposition need not necessarily be laid out in a will. The testator and heir can conclude a contract of inheritance as an alternative.
Your relative's estate plan is a mess - but your family doesn't know this yet. Planning isn't really the problem: there is no planning. And if there's no planning, then a house will pose a special challenge.
In California as elsewhere, most people are generally unwilling participants in estate disputes. There's no difference whether the dispute entails trust litigation, probate litigation or a Will Contest.
In the case of a so-called “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will), spouses can mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. However, one should also remember to clearly appoint the final heirs.
When reading the case of Dueck v. Chaplin 1, I am reminded of an article from the Globe and Mail entitled “Executors beware– it’s not an easy job.” In the article, the author notes, “You can’t help but feel honoured when you’re named an executor of the estate of a family member or friend. It’s a sign that you’re trusted and respected.
Legacy planning is a thorough, comprehensive approach to the estate planning process.
A trust is a mechanism in which one person can transfer ownership of certain properties during his or her life of after death. A trust is subject to the provisions an instructions in the trust document. However, some trust are formed based on the conduct of the parties and their intentions as opposed to the official wording of a trust document. Constructive trust are formed as a remedy to prevent unfair results.
A Florida Enhanced Life Estate Deed — also known as the “Lady Bird Deed” because President Lyndon Johnson used one to pass property to his wife, Lady Bird Johnson – is an estate planning instrument that allows a property owner to maintain control of his or her real property and avoid probate when it is time to pass the property on to heirs.
A woman felt her Mom’s power of attorney was doing such a terrible job that her Mom’s health was at risk. But that’s the middle of the story. Let’s start at the beginning.
When children grow up and start families of their own, they remain involved in their parents’ lives to varying degrees. Across Ontario, adult children are faced with choices concerning the care of their elderly parents. Some will elect to live with their parents and provide personal care.
Sometimes, people in second marriages who make wills balance two loyalties. On the one hand there are the children of the first marriage. On the other hand there is the new spouse. The road often travelled is to provide the spouse with a life interest in the estate assets. But, what does that mean? For example, who should pay the realty taxes or repairs?
The list of reasons supporting the consideration of consulting with an "Estate Planning Attorney" is long and an important consideration by those of us wanting to assure that our assets get divided and passed on to our loved ones and others in a way that reflects your wishes.
A Trust is an arrangement whereby a person known as the ‘Settlor’ transfers ownership of property to another person or persons, the 'Trustees’ for them to hold on behalf of third persons, the ‘Beneficiaries’. The assets are placed under the control of the Trustees for the benefit of the beneficiaries or for a specified purpose.
Increasing life expectancy entails a rising number of dementia-related disorders. As a result, the problem of a lack of testamentary capacity in inheritance cases is becoming more acute.
In the absence of a will or contract of inheritance, the rules of intestate succession apply following the death of the testator. This can give rise to problems with today’s blended families.
According to the OLG Karlsruhe (Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe), if the authenticity of a will is disputed, it may be necessary for witnesses to be heard in addition to an expert assessment in order to determine whether the testamentary disposition is in fact authentic.
Trusts are often used to control children and grandchildren from the grave. Sometimes the will-maker (“Testator”) holds back the money until the beneficiary reaches a certain age. Other times the money is held back until the beneficiary graduates from college or gets married. Many a beneficiary resent the conditions attached to their inheritance and they wonder – can we “bust the trust”? Well in Ontario Canada, the answer is maybe – if you fall into the Saunders v Vautier1 rule.
When a person is adopted, the legal relationship between that individual and birth parents and other individuals is altered. In many states, adoption creates new lineage that basically substitutes a person’s natural family for his or her adoptive family. Questions regarding the rights of extended family members to children who were adopted out of the family often arise in the will and estate area of law.
It is very professional to make a valid will. People usually think it easy to make just by transcribing their intent on papers. But China law stipulates specific formats of a will which must be conformed with, otherwise it will be deemed invalid by probation court. So if you want to make a will related to estate in China, consulting with professional lawyers is strongly recommended.
Two people own a bank account in joint tenancy. In the ordinary course, when a joint tenant dies, the surviving joint tenant is entitled to the deceased’s share1. Does this situation change because it is an elderly parent and child? Maybe.
Probate is a legal process that serves a purpose, but it comes with some drawbacks.
In cases involving a spousal will or Berliner Testament (Berlin will), the tax allowances of children who are entitled to inherit can potentially be wasted. A so-called “Supervermächtnis” (super legacy) can remedy this.
Cyprus International Trusts feature essential regulatory, confidentiality and tax advantages, providing interested settlors and beneficiaries with unparalleled tax planning possibilities and an estate planning solution of impeccable quality.
Inherited properties are subject to inheritance tax. This can be a problem if the heirs do not have access to sufficient liquidity. It is possible for tax optimisation measures to be used.
As more and more Chinese emigrate overseas, cross-border inheritance happens more often than usual. But we find that a lot of people ignore their right to estate from theri relatives just because they lack knowledge of inheritance law in China. Sometimes the value of estate reach to the amount of millions. Hereby we introduce basic rules of inheritance in China.