State Law

Trusts are often created as an alternative to or in conjunction with a Will. Trusts are today usually considered an estate planning tool. The Uniform Probate Code includes provisions dealing with affairs and estates of the deceased and laws dealing with nontestamentary transfers such as trusts. The theory behind the Code is that wills and […]


One of the duties of the PR is to pay all taxes due the federal government and the state government, including estate tax, real property tax, and prior to death INCOME TAX. Individual Income Tax In the United States, even death does not relieve the liability for income tax. Even if the taxpayer is dead […]

Avoiding Probate

In many estate plans, the Trust is the central tool that is used to control and manage property. A Trust continues despite the incapacity or death of the grantor. It determines how a TRUSTEE is to act with respect to the Trust estate. It determines how property is to be distributed after the death of the […]


Rules regarding notification of creditors are different for each state. However, in every state, creditors must make a claim for any amounts owed within a fixed period of time. This claim can be made directly to the Personal Representative in some jurisdictions, but in other jurisdictions, it must be made with the court. The PR […]

Probate Court

Probate usually occurs in the local court where the deceased permanently resided at the time of death. If the deceased did not have a Will, each state will have its own pattern for distributing the deceased’s real property. Generally it is necessary to go through probate or, in the case of smaller estates, a less […]

Personal Representative

The Personal Representative (also called the “executor” or “executrix” if there is a Will or the “administrator” or “administratix” if there is no Will) is appointed as part of the probate proceeding. The Personal Representative can either be an entity, one individual, or two or more individuals (although this arrangement can become extremely complicated). Duties […]

Types of Wills

Do-It-Yourself Wills So-called do-it-yourself are wills that individuals create themselves, usually with the aid of self-help legal literature. There are numerous guides, form books, websites, and fill-in-the-blank literature in the marketplace geared for non-lawyers. This material purports to help you create a valid will and avoid the costs of hiring an attorney to prepare a […]

Probate & taxes

Probate Probate is the process by which legal title of your property will be transferred from your estate to your beneficiaries. If you die with a will (“testate”), the probate court determines if your will is valid, hear any objections to your will, orders that your creditors be paid, and supervises the process to assure […]

Revoking a Will

As mentioned above, a change in your marital status may revoke all of your will, or it may revoke the part of your will relating to your former spouse. If you are mentally competent at the time you do it, you can revoke your will by burning it, tearing it up, or otherwise destroying it. […]

Moving from State to State

The laws of all states differ with respect to wills. If you move to a different state after you make and execute your will, it may be a good idea to have your will reviewed by a lawyer in your new state. Basically, a will properly drafted and executed in your former state—and that would […]