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LEGAL TERMS

INTER VIVOS TRUST

The Latin name, favored by some lawyers, for a living trust. 'Inter vivos' is Latin for 'between the living.'

SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE

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

FUNDING A TRUST

Transferring ownership of property to a trust.

PROVING A WILL

Convincing a probate court that a document is truly the deceased person's will. Usually this is a simple formality that the executor or administrator easily sat... (more...)
Convincing a probate court that a document is truly the deceased person's will. Usually this is a simple formality that the executor or administrator easily satisfies by showing that the will was signed and dated by the deceased person in front of two or more witnesses. When the will is holographic -- that is, completely handwritten by the deceased and not witnessed, it is still valid in many states if the executor can produce relatives and friends to testify that the handwriting is that of the deceased.

REMAINDERMAN

Someone who will inherit property in the future. For instance, if someone dies and leaves his home 'to Alma for life, and then to Barry,' Barry is a remainderma... (more...)
Someone who will inherit property in the future. For instance, if someone dies and leaves his home 'to Alma for life, and then to Barry,' Barry is a remainderman because he will inherit the home in the future, after Alma dies.

SELF-PROVING WILL

A will that is created in a way that allows a probate court to easily accept it as the true will of the person who has died. In most states, a will is self-prov... (more...)
A will that is created in a way that allows a probate court to easily accept it as the true will of the person who has died. In most states, a will is self-proving when two witnesses sign under penalty of perjury that they observed the willmaker sign it and that he told them it was his will. If no one contests the validity of the will, the probate court will accept the will without hearing the testimony of the witnesses or other evidence. To make a self-proving will in other states, the willmaker and one or more witnesses must sign an affidavit (sworn statement) before a notary public certifying that the will is genuine and that all willmaking formalities have been observed.

RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES

An exceedingly complex legal doctrine that limits the amount of time that property can be controlled after death by a person's instructions in a will. For examp... (more...)
An exceedingly complex legal doctrine that limits the amount of time that property can be controlled after death by a person's instructions in a will. For example, a person would not be allowed to leave property to her husband for his life, then to her children for their lives, then to her grandchildren. The gift would potentially go to the grandchildren at a point too remote in time.

PROPERTY CONTROL TRUST

Any trust that imposes limits or controls over the rights of trust beneficiaries. These trusts include (1) special needs trusts designed to assist people who ha... (more...)
Any trust that imposes limits or controls over the rights of trust beneficiaries. These trusts include (1) special needs trusts designed to assist people who have special physical, emotional or other requirements, (2) spendthrift trusts designed to prevent a beneficiary from wasting the trust principal; and (3) sprinkling trusts that allow the trustee to decide how to distribute trust income or principal among the beneficiaries.

LETTERS TESTAMENTARY

The document given to an executor by the probate court, authorizing the executor to settle the estate according to either a will or the state's intestate succes... (more...)
The document given to an executor by the probate court, authorizing the executor to settle the estate according to either a will or the state's intestate succession laws.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

In re Estate of McKibbin

In re ESTATE of Loyette D. McKIBBIN, deceased. Larry H. McKibbin, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Loyette D. McKibbin, Appellant, v. Alterra Health Care Corporation a/k/a Alterra Healthcare Corporation; Beth M. Guinn a/k/a Beth Marie Waters Guinn; Tammie ...

Estate of Johnson v. Badger Acquisition

Failing to appropriately monitor the dispensing of medication for Norma J. Johnson; failing to appropriately monitor the proximity in which the same medication was dispensed for Norma J. Johnson; failing to adequately monitor Norma J. Johnson's medication administration; ...

SOVEREIGN HEALTHCARE v. Estate of Huerta

SOVEREIGN HEALTHCARE OF TAMPA, LLC, a/k/a Sovereign Healthcare of Tampa, LLC, d/b/a Sovereign Healthcare of Tampa (as to Bayshore Pointe Nursing & Rehab Center), Appellant, v. The ESTATE OF Florinda HUERTA, by and through Dennis HUERTA, ...