Preparing a Will

A will is a testator’s final expression regarding the disposition of his or her property. It is important to seek legal counsel in drafting a will because, though some people’s wills may be very simple in the issues they need to address, the training of an estate planning attorney is critical to avoid potential challenges that arise.

Concurrent Rights to Possession-Background Property Principles at Work in any Will

Since a testamentary will deals with the disposition of property, principles of property law are constantly in play. And since a will addresses the disposition of property between multiple legal entities, it is common that property principles addressing concurrent rights to possession are involved. Concurrent rights to possession deal with the rights people have to […]

What is included in the Probate Estate

Though there is an option for married persons to create a joint will, it is more common for married persons to create separate wills, even if the spouse’s wishes were identical. So, for married persons, it is important to understand what one spouse’s will can include for disposition. The property subject to the dictates of […]

Per Stirpes Distribution

In situations where a testator has children, it is almost universally the case that the testator wishes to leave his or her assets to those children. The question is in what manner. Though a testator has a great deal of flexibility to decide how to dispose of the probate estate, there are two distinct methods […]

Nonmarital Children

There was a time when children born out of wedlock did not have any right to an inheritance. Thankfully, modern legal trends have softened to allow children born out of wedlock to have a recognized ability to inherit assets upon the death of either parent. All states now allow a child born out of wedlock […]

Mixed Family Inheritance

With divorce rates hovering around 40% it is now common to consider how to include stepchildren in a will. The important point to remember is that for stepchildren to be able to have an inheritance, there needs to be a will because the general rule under intestacy laws is that stepchildren have no inheritance rights. […]

Intestate Succession

As stated in another post, do die without a valid will is to die intestate. To die intestate means that the laws of the jurisdiction will statutorily dictate how a decedent’s assets will be distributed. Though jurisdictions vary regarding how succession takes place, some common rules of succession are as follows: If a decedent dies […]

So Who Can Make a Will?

The limitation(s) on who can create a will can really be boiled down to one overarching limitation: capacity. As long as the testator is recognized to be capable of understanding (1)the nature and extent of his/her property, (2) the effect of the disposition they are making, (3) the nature of their relationships with apparent heirs, […]