Trust and Estates Newsletters
In Latin, the word “codicil” means “little will. A codicil is a formal document that amends the provisions of a will. The amendments may change, modify, or supplement the provisions of a will.
Trusts are sometimes classified by the intent, if any, of the settlor to create a trust. This article discusses the kind of trust for which the settlor’s intent is irrelevant: the constructive trust.
When a person dies intestate (without making and leaving a will), each state provides a default plan (usually known as the statute of descent and distribution) under which his or her net estate is disposed. Under the default plan, no person is put in control of the disposition. The disposition must go according to the defaul plan. This article discusses the disadvantages of descent and distribution related to that inability to have a person put in control of the disposition.
State statutes of descent and distribution are usually supplemented by other statutes or court rulings that limit or prohibit inheritance in unusual circumstances. This article discusses some of those unusual circumstances.
A trust has five main elements. First, a settlor transfers some or all of his or her property. Second, the property transferred by the settlor is designated trust property. Third, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred with the settlor’s intent that it be managed by another. Fourth, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred for management by a trustee. Fifth, the trust property designated by the settlor is managed by a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary.