Trusts & Estates

When to Revoke a Power of Attorney for Finances

If you execute a power of attorney for finances document, you can revoke or cancel it at any time as long as you are mentally competent to do so. This means that you must understand the consequences of signing the revocation. You probably will not encounter any problems if you revoke a power of attorney that has not been given effect. However, a court proceeding may be necessary if you revoke a springing power of attorney that has been given effect (i.e., doctors have declared you to be incapacitated) and your attorney-in-fact refuses to accept that the revocation is valid. More…

Trust Elements – Trust Property – I

A trust has five main elements. First, a settlor transfers some or all of his or her property. Second, the property transferred by the settlor is designated trust property. Third, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred with the settlor’s intent that it be managed by another. Fourth, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred for management by a trustee. Fifth, the trust property designated by the settlor is managed by a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary. More…

Transfer on Death Registration of Securities

TOD or transfer on death registration of securities allows an investor to arrange for transfer of securities upon the investor’s death without the necessity of having the securities go through probate. The executor or administrator of an estate does not have to take any action regarding specific securities that have TOD registration or even entire accounts that have been set up with TOD instructions. More…

What is a Will?

A simple definition of a will can be found in a paralegal textbook, Edward A. Nolfi’s Basic Wills, Trusts, and Estates (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill 1995). Mr. Nolfi writes that: “A will is a formal letter to the probate court judge declaring what the maker wants after death.” Let’s look at each part of this intriguing definition. More…

Hilton on Charity

A remarkable statement about the nature of charity entered the public domain after hotel chain founder Conrad N. Hilton died on January 3, 1979, in Santa Monica, California. As the founder and head of Hilton hotels, Mr. Hilton was a very financially-rich man. A portion of his will revealed that he had begun to measure the riches of a man or woman in other ways. In his will, Mr. Hilton bequeathed property to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He also described the nature of charity as follows. More…