Articles

Retain Your Life Insurance Policy

Many consumers purchase life insurance policies to provide the necessary liquidity to pay for any estate taxes imposed on their death, or to provide sufficient liquidity for the needs of their heirs. Since the federal estate tax exemption is several million dollars, many people are questioning whether they should reduce the amount of life insurance they presently hold. Bef… Read More
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Categories: Life Insurance

Testamentary Intent

In order to make a will, a person must intend to make a will. A person must have what is known as testamentary intent. The adjective ‘testamentary’ means related to a will, and is a derivative of the word ‘testament’–the Latin word for will. The Latin phrase for testamentary intent is animus testandi, “the intention to make a testament.&… Read More
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Categories: Wills

Revocation of Healthcare Directives and Alternatives

Revocation If you execute a healthcare power of attorney document and a living will, you can revoke or cancel them at any time. Most states do not require you to revoke the documents in writing. Be aware that if you have told your healthcare provider about your documents, many states require that you inform the healthcare provider of the revocation. It is also important to… Read More
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Limited Inheritance in Unusual Circumstances

State statutes of descent and distribution are usually supplemented by other statutes or court rulings that limit or prohibit inheritance in unusual circumstances. This article discusses some of those unusual circumstances. Advancements In what is known as an advancement, a person can transfer property to his or her expectant heirs with the intent that the property be dedu… Read More
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Categories: Probate

Lapse and Mistake

One of the main purposes for making and leaving a will is to guide the administration of the estate of the testator–the person who made the will. A will should be written in language that is clear and indisputable. Alas, the language in a will may be unclear or vague. This article discusses the will interpretation and construction issues of lapse and mistake. Lapse I… Read More
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Categories: Wills

Navigating the Logistics of Death Ahead of Time

There are now websites that can assist you in making end-of-life plans, just like you make plans for a wedding or other major life event. As a recent article in The New York Times stated: These websites can “walk users through what an end-of-life and estate plan should include, provides a place to store everything and goes as far as offering reviews on funeral homes and… Read More
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Great Article on Long Term Care Insurance in the New York Times

As I have been telling my clients for years, the risk with long-term care insurance, particularly the older policies, is that the premiums are rarely fixed and could be raised substantially right about the time that the policy holder needs the insurance. More serious is the possibility that the insurance company could go out of business altogether. In The New York Times Sa… Read More
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A Gift Gone Missing?

The probate system can help disappointed heirs clarify asset distribution. Like physicians, trusts and estates attorneys often are asked for free advice during social occasions. I was approached recently at a party by a white collar defense lawyer. My friend was disturbed: A beloved maiden aunt had passed away, and now my friend had heard that she was not going to get the… Read More
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Categories: Probate, Wills