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New Hanover County, NC Wills & Probate Lawyers

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Carmen Elliott Nunalee

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Abby Lund Adams

Estate Planning, Estate Administration
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Andrew W. Olsen

Estate, Elder Law, Wills & Probate
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Christopher J. Leonard

Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Gift Taxation
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Rick E. Graves

Estate, Lawsuit & Dispute, Tax, Wills
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LEGAL TERMS

EXEMPTION TRUST

A bypass trust funded with an amount no larger than the personal federal estate tax exemption in the year of death. If the trust grantor leaves property worth m... (more...)
A bypass trust funded with an amount no larger than the personal federal estate tax exemption in the year of death. If the trust grantor leaves property worth more than that amount, it usually goes to the surviving spouse. The trust property passes free from estate tax because of the personal exemption, and the rest is shielded from tax under the surviving spouse's marital deduction.

CURATOR

See conservator.

BENEFICIARY

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

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.

RESIDUARY ESTATE

The property that remains in a deceased person's estate after all specific gifts are made, and all debts, taxes, administrative fees, probate costs, and court c... (more...)
The property that remains in a deceased person's estate after all specific gifts are made, and all debts, taxes, administrative fees, probate costs, and court costs are paid. The residuary estate also includes any gifts under a will that fail or lapse. For example, Connie's will leaves her house and all its furnishings to Andrew, her VW bug to her friend Carl, and the remainder of her property (the residuary estate) to her sister Sara. She doesn't name any alternate beneficiaries. Carl dies before Connie. The VW bug becomes part of the residuary estate and passes to Sara, along with all of Connie's property other than the house and furnishings. Also called the residual estate or residue.

EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT INCOME SECURITY ACT OF 1974 (ERISA)

A federal law passed to protect pension rights. ERISA: sets minimum standards for pension plans, guaranteeing that pension rights cannot be unfairly denied to o... (more...)
A federal law passed to protect pension rights. ERISA: sets minimum standards for pension plans, guaranteeing that pension rights cannot be unfairly denied to or taken from a worker provides some protection for workers in the event certain types of pension plans cannot pay the benefits to which workers are entitled, and requires that employers provide full and clear information about employees' pension rights, including the way pension benefits accumulate, how the company invests pension funds, and when and how pension benefits can be collected.

MARITAL LIFE ESTATE TRUST

See AB 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.

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.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

In re Will of Jones

... Because we believe genuine issues of material fact remain as to the question of undue influence, we reverse the Court of Appeals, which, in a divided opinion, affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Mrs. Jones and its order for the will to be accepted for probate. ...

In re Will of Baitschora

... On 22 June 2007, decedent died in propounder's home. Propounder attempted to probate the will on 25 June 2007, but when Ms. Weithe informed propounder that the firm could not handle the matter until August 2007, propounder sought other counsel. ...

IN RE MATTER OF ESTATE OF FORTNER

... UNPUBLISHED OPINION. THIGPEN, Judge. Respondents, the administrators of the Estate of Johnnie H. Fortner, Sr. ("the Estate"), appeal from an order awarding attorney's fees to petitioner's attorney for "his services in opposing the probate of a paper writing.". ...