Trust and Estates Newsletters
One of the most confusing aspects of estate planning is the numerous myths about co-ownership of property. Many people do not understand the differences between a tenancy in common and a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Many people do not understand what a tenancy by the entirety is or was. Many people do not understand the differences between the common law forms of co-ownership and community property. Moreover, people may define their own forms of co-ownership by contract. This article discusses some of the many myths about the co-ownership of property.
The terms “executor,” “administrator,” and ” personal representative” are all synonyms for someone who is legally responsible for managing the estate of a person who has died. The position of executor may be filled by a specific person named in the decedent’s will or, if the decedent did not make a will, by someone whose relationship with the decedent makes him the legally responsible party (i.e., parent or spouse). The position can be refused.
Today, the standard method of making a will is the formal witnessed written will, sometimes called an attested will. However, today’s formal witnessed will has roots in other methods of making a will. The first wills in medieval England were the oral wills recognized by church-related courts. Some states permit one or more of the historic methods of making a will. This article discusses handwritten and orals wills. Contact your lawyer to learn if these methods of will making are permitted in your state.
There are a few technical requirements with which you must comply before a healthcare power of attorney will be considered legally valid and binding.
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.”