Newsletter

Lawyer/Draftsman Not Liable For Agent’s Misappropriations

DECEMBER 17, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 25 When Mark Hall decided to take financial advantage of Helen Fuite he began, as so many exploiters of the elderly do, by having her sign a financial power of attorney. He took her to his own attorney, Richard C. Holst of Wyoming, Michigan, to have the document prepared; …

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Husband Kills Wife, But His Family Inherits From Her Estate

DECEMBER 10, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 24 In April of 1998 Edward M. Covert shot and killed his wife Kathleen, and then killed himself. Out of that family tragedy arose an interesting legal problem: who would inherit Kathleen Covert’s estate? Mr. and Mrs. Covert lived and died in New York, but the legal problem was …

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Sons Inherit From Father Even After Adoption By Step-Father

DECEMBER 3, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 23 A recent California appellate case, as Judge Morrison of California’s third Appellate District writes at the start, “illustrates the danger of using preprinted wills. This danger, ill-described in the text of the opinion, may be better stated as “Be careful of what you fail to wish for.” Decedent …

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Claimant In Will Contest Not Entitled To Trial By Jury

NOVEMBER 26, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 22 Alaskan Lillie M. Rahm was in her early nineties when she first met handyman Robert Riddell, then in his mid-sixties. Their friendship grew quickly, and Mr. Riddell moved in with Ms. Rahm within a few months. Two years later friends and relatives instituted legal proceedings that lasted well …

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Unsigned Deed Effects Transfer Despite “Statute of Frauds”

NOVEMBER 19, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 21 The law can be inflexible and unforgiving of mistakes. This is particularly true with respect to real estate transfers, where nearly four centuries of legal precedent require strict compliance with the formalities of deeds and conveyances. Sometimes, however, the legal system recognizes that mistakes happen, as was the …

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Americans With Disabilities Act Overrides Local Zoning Rules

NOVEMBER 5, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 19 George and Astrid Dadian live in the Village of Wilmette, Illinois. The Dadians both have medical problems—she suffers from osteoporosis and asthma, and he from orthopedic problems. That is why they wanted their reconstructed home to have a garage that could be reached from the front curb. The …

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Kyle Krueger

Grandson’s Creditors Can Not Reach Spendthrift Trust Assets

OCTOBER 29, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 18 When Kyle Krueger’s grandmother established a trust for him in 1985, she may or may not have known how the 19-year-old would turn out. For whatever reason, she locked up his trust benefits until his fiftieth birthday. As it turned out, her decision was good for Mr. Krueger—but …

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Eligibility, Benefits Figures Increase With Cost of Living

OCTOBER 22, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 17 Each year Social Security benefits are raised automatically to keep up with the increased cost of living. Benefit increases are pegged to standard measures of inflation, and take effect on January 1. Social Security figures, however, are not the only automatic increases affecting seniors and the disabled. Beginning …

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Evidence of Living Will Intent Must Be Clear and Convincing

OCTOBER 15, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 16 Many patients approaching the end of life feel very strongly that they would not want to be kept alive by feeding tubes, artificial breathing machines or other devices. Signing appropriate advance directives helps, but there is no guarantee that they will be located, properly understood and followed in …

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