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LEGAL TERMS

SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE

The person or institution who takes over the management of trust property when the original trustee has died or become incapacitated.

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.

FAILURE OF ISSUE

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

CURATOR

See conservator.

CHARITABLE TRUST

Any trust designed to make a substantial gift to a charity and also achieve income and estate tax savings for the person who creates the trust (the grantor).

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.

DISTRIBUTEE

(1) Anyone who receives something. Usually, the term refers to someone who inherits a deceased person's property. If the deceased person dies without a will (ca... (more...)
(1) Anyone who receives something. Usually, the term refers to someone who inherits a deceased person's property. If the deceased person dies without a will (called intestate), state law determines what each distributee will receive. Also called a beneficiary.

SUMMARY PROBATE

A relatively simple probate proceeding available for 'small estates,' as that term is defined by state law. Every state's definition is different, and many are ... (more...)
A relatively simple probate proceeding available for 'small estates,' as that term is defined by state law. Every state's definition is different, and many are complicated, but a few examples include estates worth up to $100,000 in California; New York estates where property, excluding real estate and amounts that must be set aside for surviving family members, is worth $20,000 or less; and Texas estates where the value of property doesn't exceed what is needed to pay a family allowance and certain creditors.

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.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Smith v. O'DONNELL

... 192 SW3d 780 (Tex.2006). 234 SW3d 135, 138. In Belt, we held that an executor was in privity with the decedent's attorneys and could sue them for estate-planning malpractice. 192 SW3d at 787. A prior case, Barcelo v. Elliott ...

In re Townley Bypass Unified Credit Trust

252 SW3d 715 (2008). In re TOWNLEY BYPASS UNIFIED CREDIT TRUST. No. 06-07-00025-CV. Court of Appeals of Texas, Texarkana. Submitted February 13, 2008. Decided April 9, 2008. 717 William E. Wylie, William E. Wylie ...

In re Estate of Henry

... in the 1996 revocable living trust agreement. In 2004, Thomas Henry and Ms. Henry met with Warren Nystrom, an attorney whose practice included estate planning and preparation of wills. On October 19, 2004, at the office ...