trusts and estates

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Freedom of Disposition is a principle of trusts and estates law that says the law should grant freedom to people to dispose of their property in any way they want. Two schools of thought surround this theory. The less popular view is that the freedom...

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A general devise is a monetary gift given in a will. It is often contrasted with a specific devise.

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Unlike a special power of appointment, a general power of appointment gives the holder very broad power to give away the decedent’s property. For example, if a holder of the power (the donee) can give the property to anyone in the world, that is a...

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The harmless error rule states that if there is a harmless error made in the execution of a will, the will can still be considered valid and offered to probate. The harmless error rule will occasionally excuse errors on the signature and attestation...

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Implied revocation (or revocation by inconsistency) of a will occurs when the testator has a will, and then executes a new will that has no clause revoking the former will, and the new will is inconsistent with the former will. The inconsistency...

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An inter vivos transfer is a transfer of property made during a person's lifetime. It can be contrasted with a testamentary transfer, which is a transfer made in a will after death. A revocable trust is considered an inter vivos transfer even though...

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Rules for distributing property that belonged to someone who died intestate. Intestacy rules usually take the form of sequential if-then statements that tell a probate court which heirs should be given priority in claiming the intestate decedent's...

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If a power is mandatory, then there is a duty to exercise it. A mandatory power of appointment can be contrasted with a discretionary power of appointment. If the power holder fails to exercise the mandatory power of appointment, the court must step in...

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The Modern Portfolio Theory is the theory currently guiding the Prudent Investor Rule for trust administration by the trustee. The Modern Portfolio Theory judges prudence not on investment strategy on individual investments but on the portfolio as...
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Modified per stirpes is a system of determining the descendants that will take from 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...

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