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Why its probate so expensive?

No Comments News & Updates

Probate is generally thought of as being an expensive and time consuming process.  The short answer is because probate requires certain formalities and delays built into the court system. These are not necessarily bad things, and on some occasions we will even go out of our way to ensure that the estate, or at least […]

What is a life estate?

No Comments News & Updates

In first week of the first year of law school, every lawyer learns that property is "a bundle of sticks." What this quaint saying means is that ownership of property can be divided into multiple sections. The most common example of this division of property rights is probably the severance of the “mineral” rights from […]

What is a pour-over will?

No Comments News & Updates

Frequently our clients create revocable living trusts as a substitute for a will. There are a number of reasons that they choose this estate planning mechanism, most common among them being probate avoidance and control during periods of incapacity. However, in order for the trust to control the estate, it must hold title to all […]

Is a handwritten will valid?

No Comments News & Updates

Many states, including Mississippi, recognize handwritten or "holographic" wills. A holographic will is a will is written entirely by the hand of the testator.  It must be signed by the testator or himself, but need not be witnessed or notarized. Any challenge to the handwritten will is likely to raise the possibility of disputes over […]

Are Oral Wills Valid

No Comments News & Updates

Oral wills are known as "nuncupative" wills. Such wills are valid in about half of the states, including Mississippi. In order to be valid, the "nuncupative" will must be expressed during an individual’s last illness, and if the bequest exceeds $100 in value, must be proven by 2 witnesses. Additionally, the individual's death must be […]

What is a revocable living trust?

No Comments News & Updates

A revocable living trust, more commonly called simply a "living in trust" is usually used as a will substitute and probate avoidance device. Probate is the process of transferring property from the dead to the living. It requires several legal formalities and court oversight, including petitions, an oath, court orders, and notices, before the transfer […]

Important Veteran Benefit Pays for Assisted Living

No Comments News & Updates

I am frequently asked whether there are any public benefits available to pay for assisted living care.  Unfortunately, benefits available to pay for this type of care are limited. Other than some very limited trial or Medicaid waiver programs, the only governmental benefits available to pay for home care and some assisted living care is […]

Trusts Can Enhance FDIC Protection over Savings

No Comments Estate Planning

Are you concerned about the safety of your bank accounts? If so, your fears are justified: Earlier this year the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (“FDIC”), which backs bank deposits, reported the biggest jump in "problem institutions" it has seen since the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. The FDIC identified 76 banks in […]

Malpractice Claim Against Estate Planner Time Barred

No Comments Estate Planning

A Kansas appeals court rules that because an estate’s malpractice claim against an attorney who prepared estate documents is grounded in tort law and the injury did not occur during the decedent’s lifetime, the cause of action did not survive the decedent’s death. Jeanes v. Bank of America  (Kan. Ct. App., No. 97,855, Aug. 29, […]

Mobid Obesity, Chronic Pain and Depression not SSI Disability

No Comments Elder Law

Continuing a string of Social Security related cases in which the denial of benefits was upheld, the 5th Circuit upheld the ALJ’s denial of applicant’s SSI application finding that, although the applicant was obese and unable to perform the functions of his prior vocation, he was able to engage in light duty work.  The ALJ […]

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