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will and associated documentation

estate planning


written declaration of a person's intent to distribute property after his or her death



A will is a method by which (1) may be transferred

1. title to property


Wills are executed when (1) but are (2), meaning legally binding only upon the person's death. This means that until death the will is (3), and that property to be bequeathed to a (4) may be sold or given away while the person is alive.

1. the person is alive
2. ambulatory
3. revocable
4. beneficiary


One who executes a will



If someone dies without a will, they die (1). This means usually (2) will determine how and to whom all the property she possessed will be distributed.

1. intestate
2. intestate succession


If a person has a will, she can determine how (1), which include state, federal and in some states inheritance taxes, will be paid--out of which source. An (2) in a will allocates the tax burden of the beneficiaries in a will. Without it, distribution of taxes is determined by (3).

1. estate taxes
2. apportionment clause
3. state law


(1) a person who is appointed to care for and manage the minor person, minor's property, or both. Can be a (2) or a (3). Parents are always the (4) of the child but not necessarily of the (5).

1. guardian
2. guardian of the person (care and custody of child)
3. guardian of the property (care of property until child reaches majority/emancipation)
4. natural guardians
5. property


A trust is a legal agreement in which a person called the (1) transfers (2) of property to a (3). The trustee will then manage the property for (4).

1. settlor
2. legal title
3. trustee
4. beneficiaries


a trust which is drafted as part of the testator's will and only becomes effective upon the tesator's death. Prevents a live guardian, for example, from having to manage the trust for a deceased's children.

testamentary trust


person who administers the deceased's assets and carries out the terms of the will. Gathers assets, pays debts/taxes, distributes property according to wishes.

personal representative/executor (or administrator if appointed by court)


3 things real property (realty/real estate) includes

1. land (inc. airspace and area below surface of the land)
2. structures permanently affixed to the land (houses, offices, etc.)
3. objects attached ot the land or buildings (fixtures)


3 types of property included in real property

1. immovable property
2. fixed property
3. permanent property


objects that were once personal property but have become permanently attached to land or buildings (trees, AC units, ovens, etc.)



all remaining property that is not realty--can be tangible (computer, painting) or intangible (checks, cash, stocks)

personal property


2 types of intangible property that jurisdictions may treat as tangible property

stamps, coins (collectible)


a form of intangible property--a persona right you retain when you do not possess the property, but have a right to recover in a lawsuit

chose in action


property (1) is owned solely by one person, either an individual perosn or an individual company and no others. Absolute ownership.

severally owned (property "in severalty")


two or more persons own property concurrently

joint ownership


4 types of joint ownership

1. joint tenancy
2. tenancy in common
3. tenancy by the entirety
4. community property


(1) is a form of ownership of property by two or more persons said to be joint tenants. The interest each holds at the inception of the initial possession is characterized by the (2), which are (3), (4), (5) and (6); all four are required for valid joint tenancy.

1. Joint tenancy
2. four unities of title
3. time
4. title
5. interest
6. possession


A unique concept of joint tenancy. Upon death of one tenant, his or her interest passes automatically to the surviving joint tenants

right of survivorship


Joint tenancy property is often called a (1) because the property automatically passes to the survivors as a (2).

1. non-probate asset
2. matter of law


A new tenant replacing a joint tenant with right of survivorship will be a (1) instead, and will not have (2). The other tenants will be (3).

1. tenant in common
2. right of survivorship
3. joint tenants with right of survivorship to each other (as before)


occurs when one of the four unities of joint tenancy is not present

tenancy in common


form of jointly owned property that requires the fourt unities of joint tenancy plus the unity of marriage. Both spouses are required to mortgage, sell or gift the property, and neither may sever the tenancy without written consent of the other. Not all states recognize this.

tenancy by the entirety


Pro of tenancy by the entirety

keep property out of reach of creditors (good for if one spouse has debts/loans)


a form of ownership of property between spouses. Generally all property acquired by a husband or a wife during marriage that is not classified as separate property

Community property


All property acquired prior to marriage or acquired during marriage by gift, will, inheritance or other means classified as separate by state statute

separate property


In a community property state, each spouse owns (1) and property acquired (2) is presumed community property. Upon death, the surviving spouse gets (3), and a spouse may not, under any circumstances, distribute more than (4).

1. half of the marital estate
2. during marriage (subject to proof that it is not part of estate)
3. his half (rest is passed by will/intestacy)
4. his half of the marital estate