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

  • Recommended Estate Planning Techniques

    We have found that many married couples have Wills they executed years ago, typically leaving all of their property to the surviving spouse. Many also have a community property agreement that, upon the death of one spouse, automatically will ...

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  • Estate Planning 101: Wills, Trusts and Estate Tax Planning Case Studies

    Thinking about updating your estate plan? Whether due to the birth of a child, the death of a friend, reaching retirement, the sale of your business, reaching a certain age, or hitting the lottery, whatever the reason, most people eventually decide ...

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  • Gift and Estate Tax Savings Through Use of Personal Residence Grantor Retained Income Trust

    This memorandum describes an opportunity to save gift and estate taxes for a family by use of a special type of trust. The trust is sometimes termed as "grantor retained income trust" or "GRIT," and sometimes is called a "qualified personal ...

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  • Focus on Estate Planning & Charitable Giving

    We have heard on TV that it is a problem if we die without a will because the State of California will determine how our estate will be distributed. My wife and I have 3 children, all of which are ours, no previous marriages, etc. Could you explain ...

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  • Estate Planning throughout the Ages

    Just as in all aspects of life, for every phase of estate planning there is a season. This article will discuss the estate planning moves which should be considered in the three phases of adult life, consisting of the early years (ages 20-40), the ...

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  • Estate Planning- it's not just For Millionaires

    A common misconception among the public is that only the wealthiest members of our society need estate planning. To the contrary, regardless of your financial condition, you should have an estate plan. Simply stated, estate planning is the process ...

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  • Elder Law FAQ's

    A will is a legal document created to assist the Probate Court in the payment of your debts including taxes and in the distribution of your assets to your heirs and legatees after your death. A living trust (sometimes called an "inter vivos ...

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  • Important Legislative Changes in Trusts and Estates

    Several important legislative changes were made in the trusts and estates area. The following is a general overview of some of these major changes. Last year several changes were made to the Virginia Code that require an attorney-in-fact or other ...

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  • The Marital Deduction Trap And How To Avoid It

    If a husband and wife have an estate plan by which all of their combined net estate will pass to the surviving spouse, this may result in what we refer to as the Marital Deduction Trap. Consider the following example. Let's assume Harry and Wanda ...

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  • North Carolina Estate Planning Tools

    The Internal Revenue code ("IRC") and North Carolina law grant an unlimited gift and estate tax deduction for all transfers to a spouse whether made during life or death. Thus, anyone may give or leave his or her entire estate to the surviving ...

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