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.

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Articles on HG.org Related to Estate Planning and Trust Law

  • Short Term Rentals Being Litigated in Texas Courts
    When the city of Austin effectively chased out ride-sharing firms such as Uber and Lyft, the Texas Legislature passed a measure that created a state-wide regulatory regime during the last regular session that was considered friendlier to the industry.
  • Basic Requirements in Rent-to-Own Agreements
    There are various rights to the tenant in a rent-to-own agreement that may depend on the state where the person lives, the federal Acts and laws that determine who has more responsibility and the options in purchasing the property. The benefits for either tenant or landlord deal with the financial and the land or building itself in usual agreements.
  • Contractor’s Rights vs. Homeowner’s Rights in Construction Delay Disputes
    Delay disputes in a contract situation between the contractor and homeowner could result in a civil case where one party seeks compensation against the other for the delay. It is the party responsible for the delay that could become liable for damages to the other party and understanding who has what rights in these circumstances is essential.
  • Tenant Problems? When to Hire an Attorney
    In a perfect world, landlords would always receive rent checks before they’re due and tenants would leave properties in pristine condition. But this world is not perfect – at least not for landlords.
  • Laws to Know When Investing in Real Estate
    There are many policies and regulations that could stop the best possible opportunities in real estate investments, and these are often due to complications in the location or issues with the property. Knowing what to look for and how to surpass the problem is essential for anyone seeking to increase his or her investment portfolio with real estate.
  • Buying and Selling Real Property at Auction
    Many individuals seek to purchase or take advantage of real estate selling at auctions with the possibility of higher prices or a faster selling experience. However, it is essential to avoid various pitfalls and problems that may occur and to do so, the seller or buyer should understand the process and everything it entails.
  • Non-Conforming Uses in Commercial Real Property Deals
    Prior improvements to the land of commercial property may provide the benefits of non-conforming use situations that exempt the owner from city zoning restrictions in the local ordinances that affect the property specifics. When the owner completes the changes, he or she may remain exempt from the necessary limitations applied through zoning.
  • Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls of Getting into Real Estate
    If you have the capital, investing in real estate could be a good way to earn income. House “flipping” – buying, renovating, and selling a home – holds the appeal of a short-term return on one’s investment. Those looking for an ongoing revenue stream might prefer to buy a home and lease it to tenants.
  • Public Construction Contract Bidding Process
    A construction project generally has a bidding process open to the public that will involve small and mid-sized business contractors bidding to apply for the job and revenue. Understanding the process is important for the company, agency and individual that becomes part of the bid and the project so that there is little confusion later.
  • Construction Delays Caused by Owners
    There are some problems of a legal matter for delays of a construction project that an owner causes based on the building, specific project and if it has any association or direct connection to city or state matters. When legal issues do arise, it is vital that the complication resolves quickly to end any legal matter between parties.
  • 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.




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