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Jim Lawrence is the President of LAWRENCE & ASSOCIATES, INC. He has spent over thirty years as a practicing attorney, specializing in Estate Planning... (more)

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LEGAL TERMS

SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR

(1) In the law of wills and estates, a person appointed by the court to take charge of only a designated portion of an estate during probate. For example, a spe... (more...)
(1) In the law of wills and estates, a person appointed by the court to take charge of only a designated portion of an estate during probate. For example, a special administrator with particular expertise on art might be appointed to oversee the probate of a wealthy person's art collection, but not the entire estate. (2) A person appointed to be responsible for a deceased person's property for a limited time or during an emergency, such as a challenge to the will or to the qualifications of the named executor. In such cases, the special administrator's duty is to maintain and preserve the estate, not necessarily to take control of the probate process

WARRANTY DEED

A seldom-used type of deed that contains express assurances about the legal validity of the title being transferred.

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.

HEIR AT LAW

A person entitled to inherit property under intestate succession laws.

STATUTORY SHARE

The portion of a deceased person's estate that a spouse is entitled to claim under state law. The statutory share is usually one-third or one-half of the deceas... (more...)
The portion of a deceased person's estate that a spouse is entitled to claim under state law. The statutory share is usually one-third or one-half of the deceased spouse's property, but in some states the exact amount of the spouse's share depends on whether or not the couple has young children and, in a few states, on how long the couple was married. In most states, if the deceased spouse left a will, the surviving spouse must choose either what the will provides or the statutory share. Sometimes the statutory share is known by its more arcane legal name, dower and curtesy, or as a forced or elective share.

PER CAPITA

Under a will, the most common method of determining what share of property each beneficiary gets when one of the beneficiaries dies before the willmaker, leavin... (more...)
Under a will, the most common method of determining what share of property each beneficiary gets when one of the beneficiaries dies before the willmaker, leaving children of his or her own. For example, Fred leaves his house jointly to his son Alan and his daughter Julie. But Alan dies before Fred, leaving two young children. If Fred's will states that heirs of a deceased beneficiary are to receive the property per capita, Julie and the two grandchildren will each take a third. If, on the other hand, Fred's will states that heirs of a deceased beneficiary are to receive the property per stirpes, Julie will receive one-half of the property, and Alan's two children will share his half in equal shares (through Alan by right of representation).

GROSS ESTATE

For federal estate tax filing purposes, the total of all property owned at death, without regard to any debts or liens against the property or the costs of prob... (more...)
For federal estate tax filing purposes, the total of all property owned at death, without regard to any debts or liens against the property or the costs of probate. Taxes are due only on the value of the property the person actually owned (the net estate) plus the amount of any taxable gifts made during life. In a few states, the gross estate is used when computing attorney fees for probating estates; the lawyer gets a percentage of the gross estate.

SECONDARY MEANING

In trademark law, a mark that is not inherently distinctive becomes protected after developing a 'secondary meaning': great public recognition through long use ... (more...)
In trademark law, a mark that is not inherently distinctive becomes protected after developing a 'secondary meaning': great public recognition through long use and exposure in the marketplace. For example, though first names are not generally considered inherently distinctive, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has become so well known that it is now entitled to maximum trademark protection.

LIVING TRUST

A trust you can set up during your life. Living trusts are an excellent way to avoid the cost and hassle of probate because the property you transfer into the t... (more...)
A trust you can set up during your life. Living trusts are an excellent way to avoid the cost and hassle of probate because the property you transfer into the trust during your life passes directly to the trust beneficiaries after you die, without court involvement. The successor trustee--the person you appoint to handle the trust after your death--simply transfers ownership to the beneficiaries you named in the trust. Living trusts are also called 'inter vivos trusts.'

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Carrozza v. Voccola

... A. resulting Trusts, the 2002 Case. 1. ... 2. Resulting Trusts. The type of resulting trust in which plaintiffs allege the four disputed properties are held is known more specifically as a "purchase money resulting trust." George T. Bogert, Trusts § 74 at 266 (6th ed. 1987). ...

FLEET NAT. BANK v. Hunt

... Present: WILLIAMS, CJ, GOLDBERG, FLAHERTY, and SUTTELL, JJ. OPINION. Chief Justice WILLIAMS, for the Court. The appellants, Ronald Gay and Wylma Cooley (appellants), appeal from a Superior Court order directing the distribution of assets under two trusts. ...

Goddard v. Bank of America

... The Petitioners list themselves as "all known or unascertained beneficiaries of [the] Trusts." (Petitioner's Mem. ... (Exhibit I, tab A5, p.30; tab C2, p. 14.). • allow the committee to change the jurisdiction of the trusts. (Exhibit I, tab A5, p. 30; tab C2, p. 14). ...