A recent Arizona appellate case raised a novel question. Can a trust protector’s amendment be challenged by the trust’s beneficiaries? Austin Bates and his family To understand the appellate decision — and the effect it might have on others — it helps to know the family involved. From the reported decision and a quick check […]
After two of the beneficiaries of Ralph Credille’s trust challenged the actions of their brother, the trustee, he argued that they had violated the trust’s no-contest provision. Then he moved to modify the trust. Oops. That made him the no-contest violator.
It is hardly uncommon for family members to disagree about the validity or meaning of a will. Even when they disagree, though, few people actually go to the trouble and expense to file a formal contest. A recent will contest case in Georgia provided a different wrinkle that invites further explanation: the will contests filed […]
APRIL 18, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 15 Your estate is simple, your family relationships clear, your intentions easy to understand. Why can’t you just write your own will, and save the legal fees? Because of Esther Hill, that’s why. Actually, that’s not her real name — we change the names of most of the people […]
JANUARY 19, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 3 When we prepare wills and/or trusts for our clients, they often ask if they should include a “no-contest” provision. Typically, they want us to add language that would penalize anyone who challenges the validity of their estate planning documents. Are such provisions effective, or even permitted? We explain […]
OCTOBER 1, 2012 VOLUME 19 NUMBER 36 From time to time we have written about what lawyers usually call “in terrorem” provisions in wills and trusts. They are perhaps better known as “no-contest” clauses, and they are intended to prevent will (or trust) contests after the death of the signer. Typically, they say something like: […]
AUGUST 3, 2009 VOLUME 16, NUMBER 49 You would like to make sure that your children get along after you are no longer around to tell them to behave, wouldn’t you? Although you may not anticipate any disagreements, you know that money can change relationships, and you have seen how the death of a parent […]
SEPTEMBER 20, 1999 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 12 Six days before he died, Arizonan Ralph Shumway signed a new will. Rather than consult a lawyer to prepare the will, Mr. Shumway had relied on his bookkeeper, Adelida Vega Rodriguez, to prepare the document for him. Because the will she prepared left one fourth of Mr. Shumway’s […]