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Vilma M. Aarons

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LEGAL TERMS

SURVIVING SPOUSE'S TRUST

If a couple has created an AB trust, the revocable living trust (Trust B) of the surviving spouse, after the first spouse has died.

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).

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR

Someone appointed by a probate court to oversee probate proceedings when a person dies without a will or heirs, and his or her property is expected to pass to t... (more...)
Someone appointed by a probate court to oversee probate proceedings when a person dies without a will or heirs, and his or her property is expected to pass to the state. Some states have public administrators who are responsible for temporarily preserving the assets of an estate if there are disputes about specific provisions in the will or about who will be appointed the regular administrator.

GENERATION-SKIPPING TRUST

A trust designed to save on estate tax. The trust principal is preserved for the trust maker's grandchildren, with his or her children receiving only income fro... (more...)
A trust designed to save on estate tax. The trust principal is preserved for the trust maker's grandchildren, with his or her children receiving only income from the trust. Because the children (the middle generation) never legally own the property, it isn't subject to estate tax at their death. See generation-skipping transfer tax.

ANCILLARY PROBATE

A probate proceeding conducted in a different state from the one the deceased person resided in at the time of death. Usually, ancillary probate proceedings are... (more...)
A probate proceeding conducted in a different state from the one the deceased person resided in at the time of death. Usually, ancillary probate proceedings are necessary if the deceased person owned real estate in another state.

INTESTATE

The condition of dying without a valid will. The probate court appoints an administrator to distribute the deceased person's property according to state law.

COUNTERCLAIM

A defendant's court papers that seek to reverse the thrust of the lawsuit by claiming that it was the plaintiff -- not the defendant -- who committed legal wron... (more...)
A defendant's court papers that seek to reverse the thrust of the lawsuit by claiming that it was the plaintiff -- not the defendant -- who committed legal wrongs, and that as a result it is the defendant who is entitled to money damages or other relief. Usually filed as part of the defendant's answer -- which also denies plaintiff's claims -- a counterclaim is commonly but not always based on the same events that form the basis of the plaintiff's complaint. For example, a defendant in an auto accident lawsuit might file a counterclaim alleging that it was really the plaintiff who caused the accident. In some states, the counterclaim has been replaced by a similar legal pleading called a cross-complaint. In other states and in federal court, where counterclaims are still used, a defendant must file any counterclaim that stems from the same events covered by the plaintiff's complaint or forever lose the right to do so. In still other states where counterclaims are used, they are not mandatory, meaning a defendant is free to raise a claim that it was really the plaintiff who was at fault either in a counterclaim or later as part of a separate lawsuit.

PROBATE COURT

A specialized court or division of a state trial court that considers only cases concerning the distribution of deceased persons' estate. Called 'surrogate cour... (more...)
A specialized court or division of a state trial court that considers only cases concerning the distribution of deceased persons' estate. Called 'surrogate court' in New York and several other states, this court normally examines the authenticity of a will -- or if a person dies intestate, figures out who receives her property under state law. It then oversees a procedure to pay the deceased person's debts and to distribute her assets to the proper inheritors. See probate.

CURATOR

See conservator.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Schwartz v. Labow

... The probate court's general jurisdiction encompasses "the internal affairs of trusts" and "[o]ther actions and proceedings involving trustees...." 17000, subds. ... 427 (2) The probate court has general power and duty to supervise the administration of trusts. ...

In re Estate of Young

... (a)(2)(D).) The trial court ruled that the Estate was the prevailing party, because it had showed sufficient evidence of undue influence and fraud in the establishment of the trusts. ... A. Creation of Land Trusts and Operational Trusts; Background. ...

Bilafer v. Bilafer

... SIMONS, Acting PJ. On December 30, 1999, Mitchell J. Bilafer (Mitchell) [1] executed two irrevocable trusts (collectively, the 1999 Trusts). In 2006, Mitchell filed petitions to reform the 1999 Trusts to conform them to his intent. ...