Wills, Trusts and Probate Law

Probate attorneys handling wills, trusts, and estate administration must typically advise their clients on matters such as beneficiary designation, how to form a life estate in property, what will happen to property if your client fails to make an estate plan, and more. FindLaw’s Corporate Counsel Center Law Library has law articles written to help you better understand specific estate planning techniques and when to consider forming a trust on your client’s behalf. If your client needs a living will or an advance health care directive, click on the articles below to help inform your research and learn the requirements of each state, such as the number of witnesses necessary and who can be designated as a health care surrogate.
Wills, Trusts and Probate Law Articles
    • Life Estate Q and A

      A "life estate" is an estate whose duration is limited to the life of an individual (usually the party holding the life estate), and a legal arrangement whereby the "life tenant" during his or her life retains use (the rights to rents and profits ...

      Read More »

    • Who Should be the Beneficiary of Your Qualified Retirement Plan Benefits
      Qualified retirement plan benefits are generally included in a deceased participant's estate under Internal Revenue Code §2039(a), which provides that a decedent's gross estate includes the value of an annuity or other payment receivable by any ...

      Read More »

    • Why Do I Need A Will?
      Many time people will tell me that they don't need a Will. It is often a husband and wife who have already put the house and bank accounts in both names. What they don't realize is in that situation it is usually the automobile that causes a ...

      Read More »

    • Why Establish a Charitable Remainder Trust?
      Charitable Remainder Trusts provide an excellent way for individuals to leave legacies to a charitable organization of their choice. In addition to providing important financial support to these organizations, there can be tax benefits which result ...

      Read More »

    • Why Estate Planning is Important to You
      No matter how much you own, you owe it to yourself and your family to plan ahead now for the distribution of your assets upon your death. With good estate planning, you can minimize the costs and expenses, including taxes, which often occur with the ...

      Read More »

    • What documents are necessary to determine a bona fide marriage?
      Photographs that show both spouses together and with family and friends. These photographs can be taken at the wedding, at other functions or events, and throughout their relationship. Letters between the couple before the marriage, with their ...

      Read More »

    • What Happens When Someone Dies Without Leaving A Will
      Uncle Charlie has just passed away. The family has searched everywhere at his home for his will or a copy of his will. They have found no evidence that Uncle Charlie had a safety deposit box. They have even called all of the local law offices and ...

      Read More »

    • What I Own And Where
      We have discussed in recent articles the importance of making a Will, the possible contents of that Will and the criteria that should be considered in selecting an Executor. One of the first duties of the Executor is to probate the Will and receive ...

      Read More »

    • The Significance of Intellectual Property at the Community Level Vis-a-Vis Non-E.U. Trading Nations
      When the WTO Agreement, with all its annexes (GATT (1994), GATS and TRIPs being the main ones) that resulted out of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations was finally signed on 15 April 1994, the European nations were engaged in a ...

      Read More »

    • The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: An Overview of Selected Provisions
      The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which was signed by President Clinton on August 5, 1997 (the "Act"), provides tax benefits that affect a broad range of taxpayers. The following is a brief description of the important provisions of the Act that will ...

      Read More »