People who inherit under state intestacy laws
People who inherirt under a valid will.
Reduction of the estate
Extinguishment of a right (e.g. someone bequeaths something they don't have and the donee does not receive it)
Person who makes a gift
Person who receives a gift
Transfers that meet the decedent's goals and wishes.
- Maximize amount received by beneficiaries. Minimize transfer costs.
Liquidity at death
- one goal of estate planning is liquidity to pay for - funeral, taxes, living costs, medical.
Unauthorized practice of law
- certain activities reserved for licensed attornies - drafting legal documents, etc.
- Refer client to licensed atty
- Legal document that provides the testator to control the distribution of property at the time of death
- Avoids state intestacy laws.
- May be revoked or amended at any time as long as testator has legal capacity.
- effective only upon death of testator
- legal distribution scheme provided by state legislature
- the state of dying with no will, an invalid will (if it has writing on it), or an incomplete will (that does not dispose of all property)
- A decedent with a will is "testate"
Advantages of properly prepared will
- allow for full unlimited marital deduction
- cannot leave to charity of intestate
- provides for disinheritance
- can minimize estate tax
- written in testator's handwriting
- signed and dated by testator
- no witnesses required
- oral declaration in front of sufficient witnesses
- not valid in all states
- drawn by a licenses atty and comply with laws in domicilary state of residence
Mutual wills/Sweetheart wills
- identical wills leaving all assets to other person
- not binding on surviving party to keep will the same after death of first spouse.
- Will of 2 people
- Bind 2nd to die person based on join decisions of couple.
Legal capacity to make will
- Sound mind
- must be able to understand what is being done by writing of will
- must be able to recognize and recollect assets.
- "sound mind" is more liberal than other requirements for capacity.
- name, state of residence, etc.
- this is my last will and testatement
- revocation of previous wills.
- directs specific property to legatees.
- distributed remainder of estate.
- identifies executor and successor executor
- identifies guardian of assets or minors
Clause directing payments of debts and taxes
- can direct paid from estate or others
- provision signed by the witnesses as authentication of testator's will
- declaration signed by notary that he/she witnessed the witnesses and testator signing the will (witnesses so not have to be found)
Simultaneous death clause
presumption regarding which individual died first in the event that both individuals die at once.
Presumes one person died first.