Estate Planning Law Articles

Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.

What Are the Requirements of a Valid Will?

  By HG.org
In order for a will to be valid, it must comply with certain legal formalities. There are dire consequences of a will not following these...
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How Do Inheritance Laws Work?

  By HG.org
Someone has passed away and that person's friends, family, and loved ones are left to sort out what to do with the things that are left behind....

Is Medicaid Planning Necessary?

What American doesn’t fear that they may end up in a nursing home when they become older? This not only means a great loss of personal...

What is the Difference Between a Will-based Plan and a Trust-based Plan?

Explaining the differences between a Will-based plan and a Trust-based plan so you can make an educated decision for your family about what is...

It's the New Year, is Your Estate Plan up to Date?

Now that the ball has dropped and toasts have been made, did you make a New Year’s Resolution? While many people make resolutions, very few make...

New Rules for Estate Recovery in Wisconsin

In 2014, the rules regulating the Wisconsin Estate Recovery program were updated to allow Medicaid and other long-term care insurance programs...

What Are My Rights Under Community Property Distribution?

  By HG.org
While the majority of states require that assets be distributed in an equitable division upon divorce, community property states view all...

Duties and Role of an Executor

Your friend calls you up one day and says that he is writing his will. He asks if you will be willing to serve as executor. What should you say?...

Last Call for Non Resident Tax in Spain

If you own a property in Spain and you are non resident at tax purposes here, you are obliged to present and pay the Non Resident Tax Return,...

What Is a Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy?

  By HG.org
When a person hears the term “estate planning,” he or she often thinks about devising a will and maybe setting up a trust. For the most part,...

What Do You Do if There is a Nil Rate Band Trusts in a British Will?

Nil Rate Band trusts were often included in British Wills made before October 2007. Now they are no longer needed for inheritance tax planning....

What Are the Benefits of a Living Revocable Trust?

  By HG.org
Many individuals choose to use a living revocable trust as part of their estate plan or for other purposes. Such trusts provide distinct...

Family Limited Partnerships and Divorce: Structuring the Division

Family Limited Partnerships can present unique challenges in divorce litigation relative to the division of property and debt. It is vital to...

Inheritance Law in Turkey

The rising number of marriages between Turkish citizens and foreigners brings in issues related to marriages of this type. From a legal point of...

Child Emancipation and Disability in Colorado

Colorado child emancipation and disability cases can be complicated ones. This article addresses the basic issues with respect to state law.

Legal Guide for Purchasing Real Estate in Turkey

Buying property is one of the best ways to make an investment in Turkey whether it is for your personal use or commercial activities, bearing in...

Reverse Mortgages Should be the Last Resort for Senior Citizens

Reverse mortgages may not be as beneficial to seniors as one may think. Learn more about the associated risks before taking out a reverse...

Estate Planning - Is a Trust Right for You?

Determining whether a Trust is right for you and your family can be a difficult decision. There are many factors which come into play and no...

Inheritance Issues- Family Not Cooperating, What Are My Options?

  By HG.org
Inheritances have specific rules that make them different than other kinds of assets. For example, an inheritance is usually treated as separate...

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

  By HG.org
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person certain rights and responsibilities, the agent, over the person who had the...

Are Prenuptial Agreements Invalid Without ILA in Ontario, Canada

Suppose that prior to the death of your spouse the two of you signed an agreement where you both committed not to sue each other’s estate. Also...

Distribution of Estate by an Estate Trustee during Litigation, in Ontario, Canada

Is it appropriate for a court order to permit an Estate Trustee During Litigation (“ETDL”) to distribute the Estate? Possibly.

Can Lawyers Immunize Clients Against Estate Litigation in Ontario, Canada?

Careful estate planning can sometimes prevent a will challenge – but nothing is fool proof. The purpose of this short review is to look at one...

Choice of German Inheritance Law for German Real Estate Only Until August 16, 2015

Owners of real estate in Germany, who are not German citizens, may choose German inheritance law for that real estate only up to and including...

Particularities of Inheriting and Bequeathing in Cases Involving a Foreign Element

All states have their own inheritance laws. In succession cases involving a foreign element, the question arises as to which inheritance law is...

Inheritance Tax: Are Tax Concessions for Businesses Toppling?

The German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) is currently dealing with inheritance and gift tax. The focus is the question...

Entitlement to Support Despite Prenuptial Agreement – The Butts Case, in Ontario Canada

Challenging a prenuptial agreement in the context of estate litigation happens more often than you think.

Illicit Earnings In Estate: Heirs Must Be Careful – Voluntary Declaration

Nasty surprises can be a risk in the case of inheritance, particularly if an estate includes untaxed illicit earnings. Heirs must be careful.

2014 Amendments to the Malta Retirement Programme Rules

Legal Notice 269 of 2014 has amended the Malta Retirement Programme Rules which were originally promulgated in 2012.

Setting Aside a Prenuptial Agreement in Ontario, Canada – LeVan v. LeVan

After LeVan v. LeVan(FN1) Lambert v. Lambert(FN2) and Rick v. Brandsema,(FN3) wealthy people who sign domestic contracts should be getting the...

Saving On Inheritance Tax

In the event of inheritance, the state generally cashes in on inheritance tax, yet money can also be saved with respect to this tax.

Court Ordered Capacity Assessments in Ontario, Canada

Children fighting over control of their parents’ money sometimes go to court to try to force their parents to undergo capacity assessments. Once...

Initial Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

When a loved one dies, the last thing that you want to do is to think about business. Having a checklist available during this stressful time...

Testament: Effectively Drawing up the “Final Will”

With a testament, the testator is able to express his “final will” and define rules for the inheritance, but a testament can also be invalid....

The Lost Heritage: The Problem of Protecting the Rights of Interested Heirs

Last time the world becomes more globalized, people actively move in search of better or more interesting work, look for a more comfortable...

Probate & Estate – Executor’s Rights to Commence Legal Action Before Grant

Hong Kong has a large multi-national community and as a result, there is a huge number of international estates involving beneficiaries overseas...

Newest Legal and Tax Implications When Purchasing Real Estate in Spain

In real estate transactions in Spain it still happens more often than not that acquired objects or extensions have to be dismantled because...

Inheritance Rights of a Foreigner in Turkey

A foreigner is the individual who is not the citizen of the country s/he has been living in. A foreigner may both be an individual or a legal...

Employment Law in Israel

Significant Issues in Employment Law in Israel

Inheritance for Foreigners in Ukraine

Every year, the borders between cities, countries and even continents cease to be a major obstacle for people who crave actively moving to new...

The Advantages of Making an Italian Will Under Italian Inheritance Rules

It is generally recommended that foreign citizens owning assets in Italy draft an Italian will. This will prevent significant difficulties that...

Immediate Tax Deducts for Accrued Property Transfer Taxes – Germany

Whether real estate is being acquired entirely new in the context of property acquisition or if it was already in the partnership’s possession...

An Arrow Diagram Is Not Considered to Be a Handwritten Will – Germany

An arrow diagram does not constitute the formation of a legally effective, handwritten will.

Common Law Marriage and Legal Protection in Texas

Persons who are married have certain legal rights and protections that they don't even think about. However, there are other couples who have...

Interpreting the Appointment of an Heir in the Joint Will of Spouses – Germany

A will made by spouses who appointed “our children” as heirs is held to include the appointment of a child from the first marriage of one of the...

Cut Out of the Will, What Can I Do?

  By HG.org
Losing someone you were close to is always difficult. But, it can be all the worse when you find that the lost loved one may have cut you out of...

The Migration of Non Resident Trusts to Italy

Trusts are still alien to the Italian legal system as they are essentially based on concepts in contrast with the Italian general principles on...

Top 5 Things to Consider Adding to an Estate Plan

  By HG.org
For most, estate planning is not an enjoyable experience. For many it is a recognition of their own mortality. For others, it is simply an...

Inheritance of Property in the Dominican Republic

Under Dominican Law, there are two very important aspects which have an impact on the inheritance of assets of a deceased individual: the time...

What is the Statute of Frauds?

  By HG.org
When dealing with a contract dispute, particularly in the case of an oral contract, one may hear the term “statute of frauds” used. This does...

Correction of the Land Register Possible without Certificate of Inheritance – Germany

Where there is a public testamentary deed, the land registry office can correct the land register even in the absence of a certificate of...

Substitute Heir in Will Not Reversionary Heir – Germany

An arrangement in a will, according to which a substitute heir is designated in the event that an heir dies childless, cannot be interpreted as...

Impact of foreign and Domestic Inheritance Tax on Capital Assets – Germany

Under certain circumstances, inheritance tax charged in another country cannot be deducted or considered as a liability against the capital...

According to the BFH, Foreign Inheritance Tax May Not Creditable – Germany

If inheritance tax paid in a foreign country is not meant to be deductible in Germany, it is disregarded when the German inheritance tax is...

Families Behind Revlon and Hudson Media Fight Bitter Legal Battle Over Enormous Inheritance

  By HG.org
Samantha Perelman is a 23-year-old student at Columbia University, working on a masters of business administration and as a summer production...

Federal Fiscal Court: Foreign Inheritance Tax May Not Be Deductible – Germany

If inheritance tax paid in a foreign country is not meant to be deductible in Germany, it is disregarded when the German inheritance tax is...

What Happens to Property if There is No Will?

  By HG.org
If you have lost a loved one, there are many things on your mind, not the least of which may be what to do with the belongings that have been...

Sole Heir May Need Certificate of Inheritance in Spite of a Power of Attorney – Germany

It may be necessary to obtain a certificate of inheritance even though a sole heir has a power of attorney with postmortal effect.

Terminal Stage of Deadly Disease Does Not Justify a Testator’s Inability to Make a Will

A will that a critically ill person draws up in a terminal stage is not as a matter of principle invalid. The testator’s inability to make a...

German Inheritance Tax

This article provides a brief introduction to the German inheritance tax.

Why Is It Important to Have a Will?

  By HG.org
It is important that each person have a will that directs their family members and loved ones on how they want their final wishes to be carried...

Preliminary Heir Can Freely Dispose of Estate by Means of Provisions in Will - Germany

A preliminary heir can become a full heir if the revisionary heirs demand their legal share and the testator has accounted for this instance in...

Notarial Certification Not Required to Declare Rescission of a Contract of Inheritance - Germany

A testator’s instruction to the notary to communicate the rescission of a contract of inheritance to the probate court does not require separate...

An Arrow Diagram Is Not Considered to Be A Handwritten Will - Germany

An arrow diagram does not constitute the formation of a legally effective, handwritten will.

The German Forced Share

If German law applies, some privileged persons may claim the forced share (“Pflichteil”). The article outlines the basic principles of the...

International Probate Law: Which Law Apply German Courts in Case of the Death of a German Citizen?

If a person domiciled in the U.S. dies leaving assets in Germany, the question arises which law German Courts apply with respect to succession....

The Administration of a U.S. Domiciled Decedent’s German Assets

As globalization flattens the world, practitioners and individuals are increasingly confronted with estates that include assets in multiple...

German Certificate of Inheritance and German Certificate of Executorship

Generally, German banks, land registries and other institutions do not recognize U.S. probate orders including U.S. Letters of Administration....

The Equitable Distribution of a Gain in Assets in Divorce Proceedings - Germany

If the spouses have not signed a prenuptial agreement, they are considered to be living in a matrimonial property regime of joint ownership of...

Making of Enduring Power of Attorney

Most people will make a will to make arrangements in the event of death. However, medical advancements are making it more possible to stay alive...

Expiry Of A Post-Death Power Of Attorney In The Case Of A Sole Heir

If a post-death power of attorney is granted by a testator, this is likely to expire, if the authorised person is the sole heir.

Accrued Property Transfer Tax May Apparently Still Be Immediately Tax Deductible - Germany

Up to now, it was not clear from a tax law perspective whether accrued property transfer tax constitutes incidental acquisition costs or an...

Business Succession: Examination of Any Claims to Supplement Compulsory Portions is Advisable - Germany

Some problems can stand in the way of succession planning of a business, all the more if persons entitled to a compulsory portion are...

Co-Heir Entitled to a Compulsory Portion Has Right to Inspect Land Register - Germany

A co-heir entitled to a compulsory portion can have a right to inspect the land register due to the possible transfer of properties before the...

Estate Planning Wills & Trust Probate It Is Written

Ever since the age of the Babylonian Empire when the first substantial collection of laws were written on tablets of stone, the declaration “It...

Estate Planning for the Modern Family

In a time when the traditional nuclear family has shifted to a more complex structure with multiple marriages, step-children, half-children,...

Claims to Supplement a Compulsory Portion in Business Succession - Germany

If succession planning for a business is pending then a few problems could be in store, specifically if the beneficiaries of a compulsory...

Possible to Verify the Right to Inherit Vis-à-vis a Bank Even without Certificate of Inheritance - Germany

The right of the heir to inherit, who is heir to a deceased client of a bank, does not necessarily have to be verified by a certificate of...

Heir Is Likely To Be Liable For Claims Arising From A Tenancy Of The Testator Only To A Limit

If claims arising from a tenancy still exist against the testator after the devolution of the inheritance, then the heir is potentially only...

Inheritance and Gift Tax Act (ErbStG) Possibly Unconstitutional - Germany

The new Inheritance and Gift Tax Act that came into force on 1 January 2009 with the reform to inheritance tax is to be re-examined with respect...

Disinherited Final Heir Can Cause Problems - Germany

Married couples should be careful when drafting their will with regard to any possibly remaining final heirs.

Amendment of a Will - Germany

Supplements to the copy of an original will require signing in order to be effective. If the signature of the testator below the supplements is...

Validity Of Copied Last Wills And Testaments Confirmed By OLG Naumburg - Germany

Generally, the capacity of an heir may be proven by the original document. But now it shall be possible in certain cases to use a photocopy of...

Protective Clauses Regarding Compulsory Parts in Law of Succession - Germany

A protective clause concerning compulsory parts must be interpreted as sufficient so that a corresponding earnest request of the compulsory...

Inheritance Tax Trap

Why it is Essential to include comprehensive information when you fill in Inheritance Tax forms IHT 400 and IHT 421

Italian Inheritance Rights Depending on Your Marital Status

It is always a difficult topic to address when one talks about the death of a spouse: this article aims to clarify some of the issues people...

How to Ensure That Your Wishes Are Followed When You Die

For some people, the details of their burial and funeral are unimportant. For others, however, a funeral service and burial is their final...

Deceased Family Members, Debts, and Creditors: 3 Common Questions

Question 1: What happens to a deceased person’s debts? There are several possibilities. Once a person dies someone will have to manage the...

Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in...

Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in...

The Mistake of Creating a Will on Your Death Bed

There are many mistakes that you can make in estate planning. Planning your estate is not a simple or easy thing to do.

Obama Care’s Impact on Permanent Residents and Expatriates

The re-election of President Obama ensures that the Affordable Care Act (“ACC”) will be implemented. The ACC imposes obligations that most...

EC Refers Germany to the Court of Justice for Discriminatory Inheritance Tax Provisions

The European Commission (EC) has decided to refer Germany to the EU's Court of Justice because of its legislation on inheritance and gift tax...

Capacity in the Estate Context -Ontario Canada

In Canada capacity is often the key issue in challenges to testamentary documents, powers of attorney, the ability to manage property and/or...

Estate Planning And Spouses: Is A Joint Will A Good Idea?

The option for creating a joint Will exists in some jurisdictions, and this is why the topic is still discussed in many law school courses

Estate Planning: Where To Keep Your Documents When They Are Completed

As important as it is to make your estate planning documents such as a will or living trust and pour over will, durable powers of attorney, and...

Americans Require a Will While Living Abroad. Case of Thailand

Advancement of modern technology allow people to migrate effortlessly across borders in increasing numbers in this century. People live and work...

At The End Of The Year, Bequest Promises Eexpire By Means Of Constraints Over The Inheritance Reform

Inheritance claims may end at the close of the year, as a result of legislation alternation in obedience with the inheritance reform. The...

FAQ about the Types of Power of Attorney

The phrase “power of attorney” is used with great frequency in the field of estate planning.

Date of Death Values—How to Determine What a Decedent’s Assets Are Worth

When a person dies, his or her estate must pass through the legal process known as probate. During probate, assets of the estate are inventoried.


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