FACTOID # 7: The top five best educated states are all in the Northeast.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Trusts and estates
The law of wills and trusts
Part of the common law series
Inheritance
Intestacy  · Testator  · Probate
Power of appointment
Simultaneous death  · Slayer rule
Disclaimer of interest
Types of will
Holographic will  · Will contract
Living will
Joint wills and mutual wills
Parts of a will
Codicil  · Attestation clause
Incorporation by reference
Residuary clause
Problems of property disposition
Lapse and anti-lapse
Ademption  · Abatement
Acts of independent significance
Elective share  · Pretermitted heir
Contesting a will
Testamentary capacity
Undue influence
Types of Trusts
Express trust  · Asset-protection trust
Protective trust  · Spendthrift trust
Charitable trust  · Honorary trust
Resulting trust  · Constructive trust
Special needs trust: (general)/(U.S.)
Doctrines governing trusts
Pour-over will  · Cy pres doctrine
Other areas of the common law
Contract law  · Tort law  · Property law
Criminal law  · Evidence

The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such person's incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. Its techniques are also used to fulfil the wishes of philanthropic bequests or gifts through the creation, maintenance and supervison of charitable trusts. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it overlaps with the area that has been come to be known as elder law that deals not only with estate planning but other issues that face the elderly, such as home care, long term care insurance or social security or disability benefits. Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... Law (from the late Old English lagu of probable North Germanic origin) in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, intended to provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of his or her enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration; alternatively where such a will or declaration has been made, but only applies... A testator is a person who has made a legally binding will or testament, which specifies what is to be done with that persons family and/or property after death. ... Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person; specifically, distributing the decedents property. ... A power of appointment is a term most frequently used in the law of wills to describe the ability of the testator (the person writing the will) to select a person who will be given the authority to dispose of certain property under the will. ... Simultaneous death is a problem of inheritence which occurs when two people (usually a husband and wife) die at the same time in an accident. ... The slayer rule, in the common law of inheritance, is a doctrine that prohibits inheritence by a person who murders someone from whom they stand to inherit. ... Disclaimer of interest (also called a renunciation), in the law of inheritance, wills and trusts, is a term that describes an attempt by a person to renounce their legal right to benefit from an inheritance (either under a will or through intestacy) or through a trust. ... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... A holographic will is a will and testament that has been entirely handwritten and signed by the testator. ... A will contract is a term used in the law of wills describing a contract to exchange a current performance for a future bequest. ... A living will, also called will to live, advance health directive, or advance health care directive, is a specific type of power of attorney or health care proxy or advance directive. ... -1... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... A codicil for a will is a small change (much like a Postscript (P.S.)) to the will that does not require a rewrite of the document. ... In the statutory law of wills and trusts, an attestation clause is a clause that is typically appended to a will, often just below the place of the testators signature. ... Incorporation by reference is a doctrine of the common law of wills by which a person may state in his will that certain property is to be disposed of by a seperate document, describing the place where the document will be found. ... A residuary estate, in the law of wills, is any portion of the testators estate that is not specifically devised to someone in the will, or any property that is part of such a specific devise that fails. ... Lapse and anti-lapse are complementary concepts under the law of wills, which address the disposition of property that is willed to someone who dies before the testator (the writer of the will). ... Ademption is a term used in the law of wills to determine what happens when property bequested under a will is no longer in the testators estate when the testator dies. ... Abatement (derived through the French abattre, from the Late Latin battere, to beat), a beating down or diminishing or doing away with; a term used especially in various legal phrases. ... The doctrine of acts of independent significance, in the common law of wills, permits the testator to effectively change the disposition of her property without changed her will, if acts or events with relation to the property itself have some significance beyond avoiding the requirements of the will. ... An elective share is a term used in American law relating to inheritance, which describes a proportion of an estate which the surviving spouse of the deceased may claim in place of what they were left in the decedents will. ... A pretermitted heir is a term used in the law of property to describe a person who would likely stand to inherit under a will, except that the testator (the person who wrote the will) did not know or did not know of the party at the time the will... A will contest, in the law of property, is a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, based on the contention that the will does not reflect the actual intent of the testator (the party who made the will). ... In the common law tradition, testamentary capacity is the legal term of art used to describe a persons legal and mental ability to make a valid will. ... Undue influence (as a term in jurisprudence) is an equitable doctrine that involves one person taking advantage of a position of power over another person. ... In common law legal systems, a trust is a contractual relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal title to certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by a fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of one or more... Where property is passed to a person but no gift is made, it is held for the owner, this is the Resulting trust; where property should for some reason of public policy or fairness or rule of Equity be held for someone other than the legal owner, this is either... An asset-protection trust is a term which covers a wide spectrum of legal structures. ... The Protective Trust is a form of settlement found in England and Wales and several Commonwealth countries. ... A spendthrift trust is a trust that is created for the benefit of a person who is in debt (often because they are unable to control their spending) that gives an independent trustee full authority to make decisions as to how the trust funds may be spent for the benefit... A charitable trust (or charity) is a trust organized to serve private or public charitable purposes. ... An honorary trust, under the law of trusts, is a device by which a person establishes a trust for which there is neither a charitable purpose, nor a private beneficiary to enforce the trust. ... A resulting trust is a type of implied trust created through implication of law where the actions of the parties involved and the nature of the transaction implies an intention to create a trust. ... A constructive trust is a legal device used by courts sitting in equity to resolve claims raised by a plaintiff whose property has been converted to a profitable use by the defendant. ... Special Needs Trusts are created to ensure that beneficiaries who are developmentally disabled or mentally ill can receive inheritances without losing access to essential government benefits. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... In common law legal systems, a trust is a contractual relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal title to certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by a fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of one or more... A pour-over will is a testamentary device wherein the writer of a will creates a trust, and decrees in the will that the property in his estate at the time of his death shall be placed in the trust. ... The English cy pres doctrine (pronounced as see-pray) is a legal doctrine of the Court of equity. ... A contract is any promise or set of promises made by one party to another for the breach of which the law provides a remedy. ... In the common law, a tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. ... Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of common law that punishes criminals for committing offences against the state. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Law (from the late Old English lagu of probable North Germanic origin) in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, intended to provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide... // Use of the term The concept of property or ownership has no single or universally accepted definition. ... Incapacity is a term of law that refers to a persons lack of capacity to engage in certain actions to which legal consequences attach. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Civil law is a codified system of law that sets out a comprehensive system of rules that suck are applied and interpreted by judges. ... A charitable trust (or charity) is a trust organized to serve private or public charitable purposes. ... This article needs to be wikified. ...

Contents


What is an estate?

At common law, an estate was comprised of the tangible assets of real and personal property which belong to a natural person. More recently, the concept of an estate has been expanded to encompass any thing of value to which the deceased person was or might have been entitled to claim during his or her lifetime. The property of the estate must either be beqeathed through a will or transferred through the laws of intestacy if there is no will. A will is the most commonly used legal instrument for the distribution of the tangible assets of a deceased person. Before property can be disposed of pursuant to the terms of a will, the will must be submitted to a probate court having jurisdiction of the estate of the deceased. Probate is often considered a relatively lengthy and expensive process, albeit one which may provide greater safeguards with regard to the rights of a deceased person's beneficiaries, though probate often is contested by creditors or disgruntled members of the family of the deceased who feel they have not received their fair share of the deceased's property. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Estate is a term used in the common law. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Personal property is a type of property. ... Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of his or her enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration; alternatively where such a will or declaration has been made, but only applies... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person; specifically, distributing the decedents property. ... A court is an official, public forum which a sovereign establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ... In law, jurisdiction from the Latin jus, juris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak, is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted body or to a person to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility. ...


Uses of trusts

In order to expedite the process of transferring assets to intended benficiaries, some people choose to arrange their property so that it can bypass the probate process upon their deaths. For example, placing property into a trust before death (as opposed to a testamentary trust) will often allow the accomplishment of the objectives of property distribution without coming under the jurisdiction of a court and the possible redistribution after a lengthy contested probate process and trial. Similarly, jointly held property (in common law systems), life insurance, annuities, US Tax Code section 401(k) Retirement Plans or Individual Retirement Accounts (also known as Registered Retirement Savings Plans in Canada) will also avoid probate as these devices allow property to transfer to beneficiaries outside the probate process. In common law legal systems, a trust is a contractual relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal title to certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by a fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of one or more... It has been suggested that Life assurance be merged into this article or section. ... Annuity contracts are offered by organizations and individuals that may accumulate value and take a current value and pay it out over a period of years. ... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, and excise taxes. ... The 401(k) plan is a type of retirement plan available in the United States. ... An Individual Retirement Account (or IRA) is a retirement plan account that provides some tax advantages for retirement savings in the United States. ... A Registered Retirement Savings Plan or RRSP is an investment account that provides some tax benefits for saving for retirement in Canada. ...


Special needs trusts are created to ensure that beneficiaries who are developmentally disabled or mentally ill can receive inheritances without losing access to essential government benefits. Special Needs Trusts are created to ensure that beneficiaries who are developmentally disabled or mentally ill can receive inheritances without losing access to essential government benefits. ...


Use of estates and trusts

Another major factor in trusts and estates law may be to minimize one's tax exposure. After an applicable exempt amount, the United States federal estate tax very quickly approaches 50% of one's taxable estate. The proper use of trusts may reduce one's tax burden. The applicable exempt amount is currently two million dollars in 2006. The exempt amount is scheduled to increase to three and a half million in 2009, after which the estate tax is temporarily repealed for one year in 2010. The year after, the estate tax is scheduled to be reinstated, with the previous exemption of one million dollars. Inheritance tax, also known in some countries outside the United States as a death duty and referred to as an estate tax within the U.S, is a form of tax imposed upon the transfer of the property of the estate of a deceased person that is left to a...


Trusts may also allow people a certain limited amount of control of how the amount held by the trust is handled. For example, one could leave money for somebody who may not be mature enough to handle money, and state that the money can only be used for health, education, support and maintenance of that person until the age of 35, upon which time the remaining income and principal will be distributed. One can also distribute one's assets to charitable purposes by creating an irrevocable charitable trust that may distribute the principal or the income of the trust much in the same manner as a private foundation. A Foundation is a type of philanthropic organization set up by either individuals or institutions as a legal entity (usually either a corporation or a trust) with the purpose of distributing grants to support causes in line with the goals of the foundation. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Trusts and estates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (664 words)
The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such person's incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law.
More recently, the concept of an estate has been expanded to encompass any thing of value to which the deceased person was or might have been entitled to claim during his or her lifetime.
For example, placing property into a trust before death (as opposed to a testamentary trust) will often allow the accomplishment of the objectives of property distribution without coming under the jurisdiction of a court and the possible redistribution after a lengthy contested probate process and trial.
Trusts and estates - definition of Trusts and estates in Encyclopedia (577 words)
The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such person's incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law systems.
Basically an estate is comprised of the tangible assets of real and personal property which belong to a natual person and must either escheat to the state upon the death of person, be beqeathed through a will or transferred intestate (without a will).
For example, placing property into a trust before death (as opposed to a testimentary trust) will often allow the accomplishment of the objectives of property distribution without coming under the jurisdiction of a court and the possible redistribution after a lengthy contested probate process and trial.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m