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With nearly 30 years experience handling delicate legal matters, Gary Stewart Seflin provides the sophistication and successful results of a large fir... (more)

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Neil H. Meyer

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Jeff L. Lewin

Real Estate, Wills, Estate Planning, Estate, Consumer Rights
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Contract, Criminal, Estate Planning, Family Law
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Stephen M. Asbel

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Dawn Getty Sutphin

Estate Administration, Gift Taxation, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships
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Janice M. Matier

Tax, Real Estate, Estate Planning, Corporate
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Corporate, Estate Planning, Real Estate
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LEGAL TERMS

BEQUEATH

A legal term sometimes used in wills that means 'leave' -- for example, 'I bequeath my garden tools to my brother-in-law, Buster Jenkins.'

AB TRUST

A trust that allows couples to reduce or avoid estate taxes. Each spouse puts his or her property in an AB trust. When the first spouse dies, his or her half of... (more...)
A trust that allows couples to reduce or avoid estate taxes. Each spouse puts his or her property in an AB trust. When the first spouse dies, his or her half of the property goes to the beneficiaries named in the trust -- commonly, the grown children of the couple -- with the crucial condition that the surviving spouse has the right to use the property for life and is entitled to any income it generates. The surviving spouse may even be allowed to spend principal in certain circumstances. When the surviving spouse dies, the property passes to the trust beneficiaries. It is not considered part of the second spouse's estate for estate tax purposes. Using this kind of trust keeps the second spouse's taxable estate half the size it would be if the property were left directly to the spouse. This type of trust is also known as a bypass or credit shelter trust.

INHERIT

To receive property from someone who has died. Traditionally, the word 'inherit' applied only when one received property from a relative who died without a will... (more...)
To receive property from someone who has died. Traditionally, the word 'inherit' applied only when one received property from a relative who died without a will. Currently, however, the word is used whenever someone receives property from the estate of a deceased person.

ALTERNATE BENEFICIARY

A person, organization or institution that receives property through a will, trust or insurance policy when the first named beneficiary is unable or refuses to ... (more...)
A person, organization or institution that receives property through a will, trust or insurance policy when the first named beneficiary is unable or refuses to take the property. For example, in his will Jake leaves his collection of sheet music to his daughter, Mia, and names the local symphony as alternate beneficiary. When Jake dies, Mia decides that the symphony can make better use of the sheet music than she can, so she refuses (disclaims) the gift, and the manuscripts pass directly to the symphony. In insurance law, the alternate beneficiary, usually the person who receives the insurance proceeds because the initial or primary beneficiary has died, is called the secondary or contingent beneficiary.

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).

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.

MINERAL RIGHTS

An ownership interest in the minerals contained in a particular parcel of land, with or without ownership of the surface of the land. The owner of mineral right... (more...)
An ownership interest in the minerals contained in a particular parcel of land, with or without ownership of the surface of the land. The owner of mineral rights is usually entitled to either take the minerals from the land himself or receive a royalty from the party that actually extracts the minerals.

FAMILY ALLOWANCE

A certain amount of a deceased person's money to which immediate family members are entitled at the beginning of the probate process. The allowance is meant to ... (more...)
A certain amount of a deceased person's money to which immediate family members are entitled at the beginning of the probate process. The allowance is meant to help support the surviving spouse and children during the time it takes to probate the estate. The amount is determined by state law and varies greatly from state to state.

DEVISEE

A person or entity who inherits real estate under the terms of a will.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Estate of Considine v. Wachovia Bank

¶ 2 Matthew Considine died on May 23, 2000. On June 2, 2005, the administrator of his estate [1] filed a civil action in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas naming Wachovia Bank [2] and Appellee Robert E. Rozinski defendants. The complaint alleged that Appellee was ...

In re Estate of Sauers

¶ 2 Pursuant to an employee group benefit plan, effective June 1, 1997, Paul J. Sauers, III, ("Decedent") obtained a $40,000.00 life insurance policy issued by the Hartford Life Insurance Company ("Insurer"). There is no dispute that the insurance policy is part of an employee ...

Estate of Hicks v. Dana Companies, LLC

¶ 1 This is a consolidated appeal from the judgment entered against Appellants, Dana Companies, LLC f/k/a Dana Corporation (Dana) and John Crane, Inc., f/k/a Crane Packing (Crane), in this products liability action initiated by Appellee, the Estate of Louis A. Hicks, ...