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LEGAL TERMS

SPENDTHRIFT TRUST

A trust created for a beneficiary the grantor considers irresponsible about money. The trustee keeps control of the trust income, doling out money to the benefi... (more...)
A trust created for a beneficiary the grantor considers irresponsible about money. The trustee keeps control of the trust income, doling out money to the beneficiary as needed, and sometimes paying third parties (creditors, for example) on the beneficiary's behalf, bypassing the beneficiary completely. Spendthrift trusts typically contain a provision prohibiting creditors from seizing the trust fund to satisfy the beneficiary's debts. These trusts are legal in most states, even though creditors hate them.

ACCUMULATION TRUST

A trust in which the income is retained and not paid out to beneficiaries until certain conditions are met. For example, if Uncle Pierre creates a trust for Nic... (more...)
A trust in which the income is retained and not paid out to beneficiaries until certain conditions are met. For example, if Uncle Pierre creates a trust for Nick's benefit but stipulates that Nick will not get a penny until he gets a Ph.D. in French; Nick is the beneficiary of an accumulation trust.

LIFE BENEFICIARY

A person who receives benefits, under a trust or by will, for his or her lifetime. For an example, see AB trust.

EXECUTOR

The person named in a will to handle the property of someone who has died. The executor collects the property, pays debts and taxes, and then distributes what's... (more...)
The person named in a will to handle the property of someone who has died. The executor collects the property, pays debts and taxes, and then distributes what's left, as specified in the will. The executor also handles any probate court proceedings and notifies people and organizations of the death. Also called personal representatives.

WILL

A document in which you specify what is to be done with your property when you die and name your executor. You can also use your will to name a guardian for you... (more...)
A document in which you specify what is to be done with your property when you die and name your executor. You can also use your will to name a guardian for your young children.

BENEFICIARY

A person or organization legally entitled to receive benefits through a legal device, such as a will, trust or life insurance policy.

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.

FAILURE OF ISSUE

A situation in which a person dies without children who could have inherited her property.

IRREVOCABLE TRUST

A permanent trust. Once you create it, it cannot be revoked, amended or changed in any way.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Doe v. Doe

... [1] The trusts administered by the Trustees include class gifts to the grandchildren of the settlors, Chester P. Doe, Jr. (Chester Jr.) and Eleanor Warren Doe (Eleanor). ... I. THE FACTS. A. The Trusts. On June 28, 1988, Chester Jr. ...

Parker v. Shullman

... Each of these trusts had sub-trusts for her daughter Lauri and granddaughter Cassie. Barbara designated 645 Shullman as the successor trustee of all of the trusts. ... When Barbara died, Shullman became trustee of the trusts. ...

Timmons v. Ingrahm

... In his will, Frank Sr. created two trusts: the Timmons Family Trust ("Family Trust") and the Timmons Marital Trust ("Marital Trust"). [1] The Timmons Family Trust was valued at $650,000. ... Myrtle was the sole income beneficiary of the trusts during her lifetime. ...