trusts and estates

(Wex page)

Normally, children who are cut out of their parents’ will cannot file claim against their parents’ estate. However, in rare cases when the child is born or adopted after the will is executed, omitted child statutes allow that child to file claim...

(Wex page)

The parentelic system is a system used by some states to determine who is an heir of a deceased person who has died intestate. The assets are first passed to the spouse, descendants and parents of the decedent, then to siblings, nieces and nephews...

(Wex page)

A precatory trust is an express trust that is created with language that expresses a future intent or a wish, but in which the court nevertheless finds legally enforceable duties. Normally trust language must express a present intent to create...

(Wex page)

A power of appointment that the donee can exercise during his lifetime.  This can be contrasted with a testamentary power of appointment.

(Wex page)

 

In trusts and estates law, these are assets that an individual owns at his death in his sole name.   Probate assets do not have a survivorship feature that will control the disposition at death, so disposition of probate assets are...
(Wex page)

The Prudent Investor Rule says that a trustee must act prudently when investing the trust property. The Prudent Investor Rule has changed over time to reflect the Modern Portfolio Theory.

(Wex page)

A public express trust is a charitable trust that has a purpose that benefits the community in general, or has a specific beneficial purpose (such as education or health). These are favored by the law and get certain advantages, for example, the...

(Wex page)

In trusts and estates law, a purchase money resulting trust is used in domestic partnership when the domestic property is purchased by both partners, but the title is only in the name of one partner. If the title-holder dies intestate, the...

(Wex page)

Pure per stirpes is a system of determining the descendants of individuals who have died intestate. Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent’s surviving spouse is passed to the descendants of the decedent. In the pure per...

(Wex page)

The putative spouse doctrine’s purpose is to protect the financial and property interests of a person who enters into a bigamous marriage believing in good faith that it is a valid marriage.   The person who is unaware his spouse is already...

(Wex page)
Definition

An indorsement — the placement of a signature on the back of a negotiable instrument — coupled with an additional phrase, e.g. "without recourse" or "for deposit only," limiting the liability of the indorser (signer) in the event the...

(Wex page)
Definition

A trust that qualifies for the marital deduction. A qualified terminable interest property trust ("QTIP trust") allows a spouse to give a life estate in property to his or her spouse without incurring the federal gift tax. The donee (...

(Wex page)
Definition

Property acquired by a married person or couple in a non-community property state that would have been community property if it had been acquired in a community property state, e.g. California. If the married couple subsequently relocates to...

(Wex page)

In trust law, a remainder interest is the part of the trust property that remains after the specific devises are given to the intended beneficiaries.

(Wex page)

A reserved power of appointment is when the owner of the appointive assets gives the appointive assets away, but reserves to herself a power of appointment.

(Wex page)

A revocable trust is a will substitute, meaning that title of assets in the trust is transferred during the lifetime of the donor even though the benefits of the assets are not enjoyed by the beneficiary until after the death of the donor. Like...

(Wex page)

A person may revoke their will by act so that it is no longer valid. The person must intend to revoke the will and also act to revoke the will.  Acceptable acts of revocation include burning, tearing, cancelling, obliterating or destroying...

(Wex page)

 

Revocation of a will by instrument means that a will is made invalid by the valid execution of a new will that contains a clause that expressly revokes the former will.
(Wex page)

A self-declared trust is a situation in which an individual who has both legal and equitable ownership declares that she now owns the legal title for the benefit of another individual.

(Wex page)

 

In trusts and estates law, the slayer rule says that a murderer cannot retain a property interest in his victim’s estate. The slayer rule allows courts to presume the murderer disclaims her property interest, and therefore behave as...
(Wex page)

A special power of appointment gives the donee power to give the decedent’s assets to a select group of individuals. The objects of the power in a special power of appointment cannot be the donee herself, her estate, her creditors or creditors of...

(Wex page)

A support trust is a trust that contains a provision directing the trustee to pay to the beneficiary as much of the income and principal as is necessary for the beneficiary’s education and support.  The beneficiary's interest is unreachable by...

(Wex page)

In the context of a power of appointment, the takers in default are the individuals who take if the power is not properly exercised. These individuals or class of individuals are usually named in the “takers in default clause.”

(Wex page)


A power of appointment that the donee can only exercise by will.  This can be contrasted with a presently exercisable power of appointment.

(Wex page)

The trust beneficiary is the party for whose benefit the trustee holds the title to the trust property.

(Wex page)

 

Trust intent is the settlor’s intent to make a trust. It is a requirement of an express trust along with trust property, a trustee and definite beneficiaries.
(Wex page)

 

Trust property is also known as the “trust res” or “corpus.” It is the property that is the subject of the trust.  The property must be presently existing and identified. Trust property can be any property interest that the law...
(Wex page)

Definition

A form of life insurance that offers flexible premiums, adjustable death benefits, and the ability of the insured to make partial withdrawals from the cash value. Universal life insurance policies generate cash value as the insured’s...

(Wex page)
Definition

1)  Empty, unclaimed, and/or unoccupied real property.

2)  An abandoned estate, i.e. an estate that has no heirs or claimants.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Simmons v. Saul, 138 U.S. 439 (1891).

See also

...

(Wex page)
Definition

An estate that has no heirs, because they either do not exist or have renounced the estate. A vacant estate may escheat back to the state.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Simmons v. Saul, 138 U.S. 439 (1891).

See also

Abandoned...

(Wex page)
Definition

In estates and trusts law, documents — in particular, wills — that are important in carrying out a decedent's wishes. In addition to wills, valuable papers include power of attorney forms, title documents, stock certificates, and letters to...

(Wex page)
Definition

A form of whole life insurance that accumulates cash value on a tax-deferred basis. Variable life insurance operates similarly to a mutual fund because the insured pays premiums that go into a separate investment account owned by the insured...

(Wex page)
Definition

A form of whole life insurance that combines aspects of universal life insurance and variable life insurance and provides for a death benefit and accrues cash value on a tax-deferred basis. Variable universal life insurance ("VUL") policies...

(Wex page)

Though transfers by will are normally donative, it is possible to use a will to form an obligatory, legally enforceable contract. A will contract is created when a promise is made and supported by consideration to leave property by will to the...

(Wex page)

The will execution ceremony is the procedure by which a testator makes known how he wants his property to be handled after his death through his will.  The execution ceremony has formal requirements such as the signature, attestation and writing...

(Wex page)

 

Will substitutes are functionally indistinguishable from a will because the death beneficiary receives assets at the death of the donor and will substitutes convey no lifetime benefits (personal enjoyment) to the death beneficiary during the...

Pages