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We bring you Peace of Mind. We demonstrate our commitment to you through good communication, sound advice, thoughtful planning, effective implementati... (more)

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Kay Bryson Watkins

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Wills & Probate, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Estate Planning

The law practice of Ms. Watkins handles a wide range of cases including wills, estate planning, probate administration as well as personal injury. She... (more)

Paul B Engel

Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury, Trusts, Estate Planning, Criminal
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John H. West

Family Law, Securities, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Estate Planning
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W. Randolph Shump

Elder Law, Estate Planning, Social Security -- Disability, Tax
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Nicholas J Del Pizzo

Bankruptcy, Criminal, DUI-DWI, Estate Planning, Car Accident
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Frank G. Lidinsky

Criminal, Estate Planning, Family Law, Litigation, Wills & Probate
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LEGAL TERMS

OFFICER

A person elected by a profit or nonprofit corporation's board of directors, or by the manager of a limited liability company, to manage the day-to-day operation... (more...)
A person elected by a profit or nonprofit corporation's board of directors, or by the manager of a limited liability company, to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. Officers generally hold titles such as President or Treasurer. Many states and most corporate bylaws or LLC operating agreements require a corporation or LLC to have a president, secretary and treasurer. Election of a vice president may be required by state law.

CURATOR

See conservator.

INTESTATE SUCCESSION

The method by which property is distributed when a person dies without a valid will. Each state's law provides that the property be distributed to the closest s... (more...)
The method by which property is distributed when a person dies without a valid will. Each state's law provides that the property be distributed to the closest surviving relatives. In most states, the surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and next of kin inherit, in that order.

NONPROBATE

The distribution of a deceased person's property by any means other than probate. Many types of property pass free of probate, including property left to a surv... (more...)
The distribution of a deceased person's property by any means other than probate. Many types of property pass free of probate, including property left to a surviving spouse and property left outside of a will through probate-avoidance methods such as pay-on-death designations, joint tenancy ownership, living trusts and life insurance. Property that avoids probate is sometimes described as the 'nonprobate estate.' Nonprobate distribution may also occur if the deceased person leaves an invalid will. In that case, property will pass according to the particular state's laws of intestate succession.

ABATEMENT

A reduction. After a death, abatement occurs if the deceased person didn't leave enough property to fulfill all the bequests made in the will and meet other exp... (more...)
A reduction. After a death, abatement occurs if the deceased person didn't leave enough property to fulfill all the bequests made in the will and meet other expenses. Gifts left in the will are cut back in order to pay taxes, satisfy debts or take care of other gifts that are given priority under law or by the will itself.

TRUST DEED

The most common method of financing real estate purchases in California (most other states use mortgages). The trust deed transfers the title to the property to... (more...)
The most common method of financing real estate purchases in California (most other states use mortgages). The trust deed transfers the title to the property to a trustee -- often a title company -- who holds it as security for a loan. When the loan is paid off, the title is transferred to the borrower. The trustee will not become involved in the arrangement unless the borrower defaults on the loan. At that point, the trustee can sell the property and pay the lender from the proceeds.

ESTATE PLANNING

The art of continuing to prosper when you're alive, and passing your property to your loved ones with a minimum of fuss and expense after you die. Planning your... (more...)
The art of continuing to prosper when you're alive, and passing your property to your loved ones with a minimum of fuss and expense after you die. Planning your estate may involve making a will, living trust, healthcare directives, durable power of attorney for finances or other documents.

FUNDING A TRUST

Transferring ownership of property to a trust.

ESTATE TAXES

Taxes imposed by the state or federal government on property as it passes from the dead to the living. All property you own, whatever the form of ownership, and... (more...)
Taxes imposed by the state or federal government on property as it passes from the dead to the living. All property you own, whatever the form of ownership, and whether or not it goes through probate after your death, is subject to federal estate tax. Currently, however, federal estate tax is due only if your property is worth at least $2 million when you die. The estate tax is scheduled to be repealed for one year, in 2010, but Congress will probably make the repeal (or a very high exempt amount) permanent. Any property left to a surviving spouse (if he or she is a U.S. citizen) or a tax-exempt charity is exempt from federal estate taxes. Many states now also impose their own estate taxes or inheritance taxes.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Blondell v. Littlepage

... Noble v. Bruce, 349 Md. 730, 733, 709 A.2d 1264 (1998), rejected a third party beneficiary argument in consolidated cases involving malpractice actions by testamentary beneficiaries for negligent estate planning and negligent drafting of the testator's will, respectively. Id. ...

Attorney Grievance v. Coppola

... the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct ("MRPC" or "Rule"), including Rule 1.2(d) (Scope of Representation), [2] Rules 3.3(a)(1) and (a)(2) (Candor Toward the Tribunal), [3] and Rules 8.4(a), (b), (c), and (d) (Misconduct), [4] with regard to estate planning services provided ...

Karsenty v. Schoukroun

... Facts. This case arises from a decedent's inter vivos distribution of his assets through the use of both probate and non-probate estate planning arrangements. ... This case centers on the estate planning arrangements that Gilles made in the last three to four months of his life. ...