Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
What is Estate Planning law? This area governs the laws, procedures and practices associated with planning for one’s estate in the event that he/she becomes incapacitated and for when he/she is deceased. It encompasses the roles and activities of Executors and Administrators; creation and administration of Wills and Last Testaments; Trusts and Living Trusts; Probate; Medical Powers of Attorney, DNR Orders and Advance Directives; associated tax issues; and various other related topics.
The laws governing most of these areas are created primarily on the state level and therefore vary greatly. The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) has sought to clarify, unify and modernize these laws throughout all the U.S states and D.C., but to date, only about 30% have completely adopted the Code, while some of the remaining state have only implemented parts of it. Estate related tax issues, such as gift tax laws and federal estate tax, and various college savings plans are regulated by federal as well as state laws.
The Estate Planning Center on HG.org provides in depth coverage of estate planning law, with detailed definitions and links to various resources. In addition to the topics referenced above, our Estate Planning Center also offers resources, infomraiton and links covering the Fundamentals of Estate Planning; Types of Wills and Testaments; Types of Trusts; Property That Does Not Pass Via a Will; and Other Estate Planning Issues.
Articles on HG.org Related to Estate Planning and Trust Law
- Is My Husband’s Military Pension Considered Marital Property?When military personnel marry someone, these individuals may face their pension or other benefits becoming part of the marriage with transferrable action to the spouse. It is important to understand how these benefits and accounts work with a spouse, so that there are no complications when either separating or attempting to apply them for certain situations.
- Timeshare Frauds against the ElderlyDevelopers and owners of timeshare properties are defendants in litigation due to various scams against the elderly where there are instances of fraud, contract breaches and various state violations. These issues deemed elderly abuse are complex and may lead to years of battle for these older residents against the larger company.
- What Is the Process of Contesting a Living Trust?A living trust (also called an “inter vivos” or “revocable” trust) is a document that allows a person to place his or her assets into a trust during life so that those assets can be distributed to designated beneficiaries by a chosen representative upon death.
- How a Real Estate Expert Witness Helps in LitigationWhen dealing with a real estate property issue or contractual agreement between the buyer and seller, it is important to hire a real estate expert witness to assist with the entire litigation situation. These professionals are able to understand the confusing and complicated matters better than the average person to help increasing chances of success.
- Gross Negligence in Real Estate Property ContractsWhen a lawyer’s hire is necessary for real estate property contracts, the issues with gross negligence may arise where there is an issue with reckless, willful or wanton misconduct involved in these situations. With the inclusion of at least one of these circumstances, the buyer or seller may face litigation and legal complications.
- Differences between Guardianships and ConservatorshipsLoved ones who are concerned about a loved one may decide to seek a formal appointment as the individual’s guardian or conservator. Which designation the person seeks will depend on the state where it is granted, the purpose of the appointment and factors specific to the person’s particular situation.
- Crowdfunding Real Estate VenturesCrowdfunding is the new innovative way for an average person to seek peer-to-peer lending or investing funds for various projects. These methods may combine with older or dissimilar processes in real estate ventures to provide million-dollar projects for those with these funds and individuals that are unable to bring that kind of money to a real estate investment without help.
- Ground Leases to Retain Family Ownership InterestsLeases are necessary to ensure that a person owns a parcel of land for the period of the lease agreement which is a legal binding contract. In certain leases, the tenant must build his or her property assets, and then at the end of the lease term, all rights of ownership then transfer to the landlord unless it is a ground lease which keeps the possession of assets in the family.
- Finding an Attorney to Help Negotiate Your Commercial Lease in San DiegoYour corporate office space, warehouse or manufacturing facilities play a crucial role in the success of your business. An effective commercial lease ensures your company receives the maximum benefit while protecting you from hidden costs or “accelerators.”
- I Am My Father’s Only Living Relative. Can I Collect His Pension?When a person has worked for a company for a requisite number of years, he or she may be eligible for a pension. However, the employee may sometimes die before he or she receives the pension or before receiving the entire amount of the pension. This leaves open the question what happens to the pension when an employee dies. In some situations, an adult child may receive the remainder of the pension.
- All Estate Planning and Trust Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Estate Planning including: estate and trust, inheritance law, personal property, probate, wills.
Estate Planning and Trust Law - US
- ABA - Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
The Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section is a leading national forum for lawyers, and currently has over 30,000 members. The Real Property Division focuses on legal aspects of property use, ownership, development, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and disposal. The Trust and Estate Division focuses on all aspects of trusts, estate planning, employee benefits, insurance, and probate and trust litigation.
- Elder Law Answers - Estate Planning
The knowledge that we will eventually die is one of the things that seems to distinguish humans from other living beings. At the same time, no one likes to dwell on the prospect of his or her own death. But if you postpone planning for your demise until it is too late, you run the risk that your intended beneficiaries -- those you love the most -- may not receive what you would want them to receive whether due to extra administration costs, unnecessary taxes or squabbling among your heirs.
- Federal Inheritance Tax
Depending on where you live the tax code may make reference to inheritance tax, estate tax, and even "death duty." Here in the United States, there is a difference between estate taxes and inheritance taxes. Estate taxes are levied on representatives of the deceased person, while inheritance taxes are levied on the beneficiaries of an estate. Elsewhere in the world, the terms estate tax and inheritance tax are used interchangeably.
- IRS - Estate and Gift Taxes
The Estate Tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death. The fair market value of these items is used, not necessarily what you paid for them or what their values were when you acquired them. The total of all of these items is your "Gross Estate." The includible property may consist of cash and securities, real estate, insurance, trusts, annuities, business interests and other assets.
Organizations Related to Estate Planning and Trust Law
- American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys is an exclusive, membership organization serving the needs of attorneys and law firms nationwide. Academy members focus on one or more of the following areas: estate planning, elder law, post-mortem services and financial services. Members are equipped with the legal research and education it takes to serve consumers with the highest quality advice and documents.
- American Association of Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Attorneys
The American Association of Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Attorneys (AATEELA) is an invitation-only, professional association of estate planning and elder law attorneys from across the United States. Members are selected on the basis of their professional reputation, ability and creativity in the fields of trusts, estates and elder law. Each has made substantial contributions to these fields through lecturing, writing, and continuing education instruction.
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a nonprofit association of lawyers established in 1949. Its members are elected to the College by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors. All ACTEC members have made substantial contributions to the field of trusts and estates law through writing, teaching and bar leadership activities.
- National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
The National Network is a cooperative alliance of nationally recognized estate planning attorneys from across the country. Together they provide one another with the support and tools needed to serve their clients better while building highly successful and rewarding practices.
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is a unique professional body providing members with a local, national and international learning and business network. STEP provides education, training, representation and networking for its members, who are professionals specialising in trusts and estates, executorship, administration and related taxes. Members advise clients on the broad business of the management of personal finance. Full members of STEP are the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of trusts and estates.
Publications Related to Estate Planning and Trust Law
- ABA - Estate Planning FAQs
The Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section provides a wealth of practice information. Whether you’re looking for RPTE Section news, law specialty issues and cases, or news-and-feature articles, we strive to meet your educational and informational needs!
- Oxford Journals - Trust and Trustees
Trusts & Trustees is the leading international journal on trust law and practice. The most significant source of information in its field, the journal is essential for all trusts practitioners and lawyers,
- Trusts and Estates
Trusts & Estates is the town center where experts who serve the ultra-wealthy's planning needs gather to gain insight into their specialties and to learn about related professions. This community includes attorneys, fiduciaries, accountants, investment advisors, charitable giving specialists, family office executives, insurance agents and valuation experts.