BL-Chapt50 - Print Chapter Page 1 of 30 Wills and Trusts...

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Wills and Trusts Chapter Introduction 50-1 Wills 50-1a Laws Governing Wills 50-1b Gifts by Will 50-1c Requirements for a Valid Will 50-1d Revocation of Wills 50-1e Rights under a Will 50-1f Probate Procedures 50-1g Property Transfers outside the Probate Process 50-2 Intestacy Laws 50-2a Surviving Spouse and Children 50-2b Stepchildren, Adopted Children, and Illegitimate Children 50-2c Distribution to Grandchildren 50-3 Trusts 50-3a Essential Elements of a Trust 50-3b Express Trusts 50-3c Implied Trusts 50-3d The Trustee 50-3e Trust Termination 50-4 Other Estate-Planning Issues 50-4a Power of Attorney 50-4b Living Will Chapter Recap Page 1 of 30 Print Chapter 2010-8-30 ..
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Chapter Introduction As the old adage states, "You can't take it with you." All of the real and personal property that you own will be transferred on your death to others. A person can direct the passage of his or her property after death by will, subject to certain limitations imposed by the state. If no valid will has been executed, the decedent is said to have died intestate , and state intestacy laws prescribe the distribution of the property among heirs or next of kin. If no heirs or kin can be found, the property will escheat (title will be transferred to the state). In addition, a person can transfer property through a trust. In a trust arrangement, the owner (who may be called the grantor, or the settlor ) of the property transfers legal title to a trustee, who has a duty imposed by law to hold the property for the use or benefit of another (the beneficiary). Wills and trusts are two basic devices used in the process of estate planning –determining in advance how one's property and obligations should be transferred on death. In this chapter, we examine wills and trusts in some detail. Estate planning may also involve powers of attorney and living wills, which we discuss at the conclusion of this chapter. Other estate- planning devices include life insurance (discussed in Chapter 49) and joint-tenancy arrangements (described in Chapter 48). Typically, estate planning involves consultations with professionals, including attorneys, accountants, and financial planners. Page 2 of 30 Print Chapter 2010-8-30 ..
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50-1 50-1a Wills Exhibit 50–1. Excerpts from the Will of Diana, Princess of Wales Laws Governing Wills A will is the final declaration of how a person desires to have her or his property disposed of after death. It is a formal instrument that must follow exactly the requirements of state law to be effective. One who makes a will is known as a testator (from the Latin testari , "to make a will"). A will is referred to as a testamentary disposition of property, and one who dies after having made a valid will is said to have died testate . A will can serve other purposes besides the distribution of property. It can appoint a guardian for minor children or
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2011 for the course ACCT 362 taught by Professor Mint during the Fall '11 term at CUNY Queens.

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BL-Chapt50 - Print Chapter Page 1 of 30 Wills and Trusts...

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