Hot answers tagged

54 votes
Accepted

How to protect assets from being passed to a beneficiary in a will when they are likely to die soon also

Wills typically handle this by specifying a survivorship period. Such a clause may say, in effect, "I leave all my assets to my spouse, provided they survive me by at least 30 days, and otherwise to ...
user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What happens to debts when someone dies?

In Civil law jurisdictions, the heir of a deceased person will generally inherit all the possessions, rights and obligations - this may include debts. So if a borrower passes away, the lender will ...
user avatar
  • 6,363
16 votes
Accepted

When an American citizen dies in Mexico without a will, which countries' probate law applies?

The default choice of law rule is that intestate succession is governed by the law of the place of domicile of the decedent at death (i.e. by the law of the state where someone resides in the U.S. in ...
user avatar
  • 130k
12 votes
Accepted

Are holographic wills really routinely thrown out by probate courts?

The page "States Where Holographic Wills Are Legal" from legal zoom lists some 26 united-states states in which holographic wills are valid, plus 9 more that will recognize such wills when ...
user avatar
  • 89.4k
11 votes

Children and grandchildren must be explicitly disinherited in wills?

Yes that seems to be the case. The section after the one you quoted, 551:11 Share of Unnamed Child says: If the property not devised nor bequeathed shall be insufficient to satisfy the just share of ...
user avatar
  • 89.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Can wills contain conditions?

You can put conditions on bequests (subject to other laws that might require you to provide for children etc.), however, these must be antecedent to the gift: once a gift is given you can't call it ...
user avatar
  • 148k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I leave my girlfriend/wife to someone in my will?

If a line in your will bequeaths something that you don't have the power to give (e.g. you bequeath something that you don't own at the time of your death), that line has no legal effect. If I died ...
user avatar
  • 4,509
8 votes
Accepted

Is an English will valid if the testator dies while living in Scotland?

(I am not your lawyer. I am not here to help you. If you are reading this because someone has died, please stop and instead read the Scottish Courts and Tribunals guide to dealing with a deceased's ...
user avatar
7 votes

What happens to debts when someone dies?

In common law jurisdictions, you generally cannot inherent a debt. Details vary by jurisdiction, I will use NSW, Australia as an example: Initial ownership on death Liabilities Any joint liabilities (...
user avatar
  • 148k
7 votes
Accepted

Can I release all my copyrighted works into the public domain upon my death?

Under US copyright law, all works are protected by copyright except for US Government works. The concept of "public domain" is not legally well-defined, and is used colloquially to refer to government ...
user avatar
  • 157k
7 votes
Accepted

Protecting myself against my future self

In general, no, if you make a will then you can revoke that will while ever you are still legally competent. Also, in general, this is a good thing. For your first example, you are ruling out all ...
user avatar
  • 148k
7 votes

Can I (proactively) prevent someone from leaving me something in a will?

What can I do to prevent someone from leaving me something in their will? Nothing. Allowing other people to legally change someone's will defeats the purpose of a will: To express the writer's last ...
user avatar
  • 7,967
7 votes

How complex can a will or testament be?

A Last Will and Testament can be very complex. The longest and most complex one that I have drafted runs to about eighty pages. I've seen some in probate proceedings that run to about 120 pages, with ...
user avatar
  • 130k
6 votes
Accepted

Can I waive the "slayer statute" in my will?

No. This is not a provision that the testator or testatrix (i.e. the person writing a will) may waive in advance. But, the slayer statute does not get invoked unless an interested person invokes it ...
user avatar
  • 130k
6 votes

Destroying a will and ganging up with relatives not included in that will

Exactly the same thing that stops the same rogue lawyer from putting on a mask and robbing a bank. One is the crime of fraud and the other the crime of armed robbery but they are both crimes. People ...
user avatar
  • 148k
6 votes
Accepted

Can bones be willed to a family member after death?

It would be more common to leave a separate direction regarding the disposition of your body in a document other than your will, entrusted with your next of kin. This is because a dead person's body ...
user avatar
  • 130k
6 votes
Accepted

Can a will order private property be destroyed?

Interesting question. I routinely write wills that authorize the executor to destroy property that has no significant economic or sentimental value, but I've never encountered a case where a testator ...
user avatar
  • 130k
6 votes
Accepted

Unreasonable terms in a will

Conditions in a will are.. complicated. As a rule of thumb you can impose conditions but that doesn't mean they are always going to be upheld. Some will be ruled void where they are considered "...
user avatar
  • 2,737
6 votes

Clause in will invalidating later wills

In Robinson v. Mandell, the authenticity of a mutual will was in question. Hetty Green (Robinson) claimed that her aunt (Howland) intended to disinherit the father of Robinson and requested that they ...
user avatar
  • 2,616
6 votes
Accepted

I have Power of Attorney for a single relative - do they need a Last Will and Testament also?

There are two relevant laws of Kentucky. KRS Chapter 457 is about power of attorney, and KRS 457.100 specifies how the POA terminates, in particular (1)(a) says that it terminates when the principal ...
user avatar
  • 157k
6 votes

Is a will provision naming "my wife" as a beneficiary before marriage valid?

united-states Under U.S. law, the primary consideration then and now, in the interpretation of Wills is the intent of the testator (i.e. the person who drafted the Will who is now the decedent). I ...
user avatar
  • 130k
5 votes
Accepted

In the case that multiple wills with conflicting terms are left, which one prevails?

In most places I imagine the issue would go before a probate judge who would attempt to determine the validity of each presented will, and if both were valid, then they would attempt to reconcile the ...
user avatar
5 votes

Does my will need to be in legalese?

Legalese is not required You can and should write a will in plain English. However, you need to ensure that your simple wishes can: Actually be understood, Actually be implemented, Don't have ...
user avatar
  • 148k
5 votes
Accepted

What to do if you have a possible 'zombie' relative

While the state, or a creditor, can initiate a probate if no one else does (if the state does so, the official in charge of this is called the "public administrator"), neither are required to do so. ...
user avatar
  • 130k
5 votes
Accepted

Can a Last Will legally specify beneficiaries at a specified url?

This is a close call, in the example that you suggest, because it won't have been executed with the proper formalities and it isn't clear that the content at a url would be fixed in its language at ...
user avatar
  • 130k
5 votes
Accepted

Would this person be a valid executor of estate?

Yes. Generally a person may designate any competent adult who is willing to be the executor. It is very common to designate a major beneficiary as executor. There is no rule against a possible ...
user avatar
  • 89.4k
5 votes

Is a will provision naming "my wife" as a beneficiary before marriage valid?

england-and-wales If the testator had simply written "my wife" then the bequest would likely fail, because he had no wife at the time of his death. If he had written just "Stella ...
user avatar
  • 736
4 votes

Does my will need to be in legalese?

Can anyone point towards specific cases where someone with a similar will has run into major problems because they wrote a simple will instead of the complex legalese one? Like every case in ...
user avatar
  • 8,272
4 votes

Who is responsible for the disposal of a body when there are no directives in the deceased's will?

Who owns a dead body? No one, in common law countries human remains are not property and therefore have no owner. Who is responsible for disposal? It varies by jurisdiction. For example, in NSW, ...
user avatar
  • 148k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible