14 - 1 Wills and Trusts Unit 14 “When you have told anyone that you have left him a legacy, the only decent thing is to die at once.” Samuel Butler
14 - 2 “Top 6” Learning Objectives Why have a will? What happens without a will? (Intestacy) Will Terminology Requirements for a Valid Will The Probate Process Trusts and their Uses Advance Directives: Power of Attorney Health Care Power of Attorney Living Will
14 - 3 Poster Child for having a will . . . Issues include: Keeping will up to date-- will gives everything to her son, who predeceased her, but she has a new baby daughter. No guardian named in the will for daughter. Burial wishes??? Why have a will?
14 - 4 Each state has statutes and case law that regulates the distribution of property upon a person’s death The Uniform Probate Code, a comprehensive model law, has been enacted in many states One reason to have a will, therefore, is to direct where your “estate” shall go, if you don’t want to rely on the default rules provided by state law. Why have a will?
14 - 5 A person who dies without making a will, or if the will is declared invalid, is said to have died intestate. Property will be distributed to the intestate’s heirs in accordance with state intestacy statutes In Minnesota, the intestacy statute provides: First to surviving spouse, then to decedent’s descendants, decedent’s parents, decedent’s parents descendants, or decedent’s grandparents or their descendants. What happens without a will?
14 - 6 Other Reasons for a Will Provide for the care and support of minor children. Appoint a guardian for physical custody; and Establish a trust for financial protection. Conduct estate planning to minimize the amount of estate taxes required to be paid. Provide instructions for burial arrangements. Otherwise provide for the orderly disposition of the estate.
14 - 7 So what is a will? A will is a document executed with specific legal formalities by a testator (person making will) that bears instructions about the way the person’s property will transfer at death Terminology
14 - 8 Two types of gifts: A bequest (also called legacy ) is a gift of personal property or money. Ademption : when a specific bequest of property that is ineffective since the testator disposed of the property before death A devise is a gift of real property. Person who receives it is a divisee
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