March 2016 Archives

What happens if a Will is set-aside or voided?

Beneficiaries, or those excluded from being a beneficiary, of a person's Last Will and Testament sometimes file litigation to challenge the Will. This is usually done based on allegations of undue influence, fraud, coercion or duress. So what happens if the challenge is successful and the Will is set-aside? Does that mean a prior Will comes back into effect or does it mean the person died intestate, i.e. with no Will? As with many things in the law, the answer is "it depends."

Can I prevent my beneficiaries from knowing what other beneficiaries are receiving at my death?

As an estate attorney, I sometimes have clients who want to name multiple beneficiaries but do not want each beneficiary to know what the other is to receive. These clients will often ask, is this possible?

Don't Get Caught in the "TIC" Trap!

As more people are living together while not married, they are increasingly buying real estate in joint names. One way this is done is to hold the property as "Tenants in Common"--sometimes abbreviated TIC. One example of how title is held in that case would be as follows: "John Smith, a single man, and Jane Jones, a single woman." In this case, title acheives one objective: each owns an undivided one-half interest in the property. However, as most estate attorneys will acknowledge, this also has some pitfalls.

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