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LEGAL TERMS

FAMILY POT TRUST

See pot trust.

UNIFORM TRANSFER-ON-DEATH SECURITY ACT

A statute that allows people to name a beneficiary to inherit stocks or bonds without probate. The owner of the securities can register them with a broker using... (more...)
A statute that allows people to name a beneficiary to inherit stocks or bonds without probate. The owner of the securities can register them with a broker using a simple form that names a person to receive the property after the owner's death. Every state but Texas has adopted the statute.

BANKRUPTCY ESTATE

All of the property you own when you file for bankruptcy, except for most pensions and educational trusts. The trustee technically takes control of your bankrup... (more...)
All of the property you own when you file for bankruptcy, except for most pensions and educational trusts. The trustee technically takes control of your bankruptcy estate for the duration of your case.

LAPSE

Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. S... (more...)
Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. Some states have anti-lapse statutes, which prevent gifts to relatives of the deceased person from lapsing unless the relative has no heirs of his or her own. A lapsed gift becomes part of the residuary estate.

DEED OF TRUST

See trust deed.

PER CAPITA

Under a will, the most common method of determining what share of property each beneficiary gets when one of the beneficiaries dies before the willmaker, leavin... (more...)
Under a will, the most common method of determining what share of property each beneficiary gets when one of the beneficiaries dies before the willmaker, leaving children of his or her own. For example, Fred leaves his house jointly to his son Alan and his daughter Julie. But Alan dies before Fred, leaving two young children. If Fred's will states that heirs of a deceased beneficiary are to receive the property per capita, Julie and the two grandchildren will each take a third. If, on the other hand, Fred's will states that heirs of a deceased beneficiary are to receive the property per stirpes, Julie will receive one-half of the property, and Alan's two children will share his half in equal shares (through Alan by right of representation).

BYPASS TRUST

A trust designed to lessen a family's overall estate tax liability. An AB trust is the most popular kind of bypass trust.

POUR-OVER WILL

A will that 'pours over' property into a trust when the will maker dies. Property left through the will must go through probate before it goes into the trust.

FINAL BENEFICIARY

The person or institution designated to receive trust property upon the death of a life beneficiary. For example, Jim creates a trust through which his wife Jan... (more...)
The person or institution designated to receive trust property upon the death of a life beneficiary. For example, Jim creates a trust through which his wife Jane receives income for the duration of her life. Their daughter, the final beneficiary, receives the trust principal after Jane's death.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Matter of Colverd

... Spain, J. 972 Decedent died in 2000. Thereafter, petitioner—decedent's unmarried companion of nearly 30 years—commenced this proceeding in Surrogate's Court, as named executor, seeking probate of decedent's will. Three ...

MTR OF AMERICAN COMM. v. Dunn

... This appeal requires us to determine the standard applicable to a petition to vacate a probate decree brought by a nonparty to an initial probate proceeding and based upon "newlydiscovered evidence," which allegedly demonstrates that a probated will was procured through ...

Matter of Paigo

... Decedent died in June 2006 and petitioner sought to probate the will. ... Petitioner then moved for summary judgment 838 seeking dismissal of the objections and admitting the will to probate. Concluding that issues of fact existed, Surrogate's Court denied the motion. ...