Estate and Elder Law

Recent Posts

Model Will Provisions Pertaining to Cremation
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 by LexisNexis Estate and Elder Law Community Staff

The model will provisions below were originally published in Murphy’s Will Clauses: Annotations and Forms with Tax Effects, available through the Lexis Bookstore For subscribers to, this publication can be accessed here Model... Read More

Tags: Wills

So what if I don’t have a Will or Trust in place…big deal!
Posted on 16 Jun 2011 by Sabrina Winters

By Sabrina Winters Many people assume that when a person passes away, that person's property is automatically transferred to the spouse or "next of kin". I have had some clients even think that the state takes it all! In North Carolina... Read More

Appellate Court Upholds Objections To Probate In Spite Of Waiver
Posted on 18 Jun 2012 by Phil Bernstein

The Supreme Court's Appellate Division recently upheld New York County Surrogate Nora Anderson's decision in the probate proceeding of Rosalin E. Melnick 942 N.Y.S.2D 45 (A.D. 1Dept 2012) [ enhanced version available to subscribers ... Read More

HOW You Sign a Will Can Be Just as Important as What It Says
Posted on 13 Oct 2009 by David A. Shulman

I have written in the past about the dangers of "do it yourself" wills. I have pointed out all of the traps for the unwary regarding Homestead, the Surviving Spouse, and Pretermitted Heirs. One thing I haven't written about is the danger... Read More

Tags: Wills

Ask Liza: What to Do When One Parent Lacks Capacity
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza, my parents do not have a living trust in place. I need to help them set one up. My father and mother are 91 and 83 respectively. My father has a form of dementia that prevents him from making decision about his property. My Mother is fully... Read More

Ask Liza: How To Store That Estate Plan
Posted on 27 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza: I’ve just completed my estate planning documents using the latest edition of WillMaker Plus, including the will, health care documents, power of attorney, final arrangements, etc. I think all totaled it comes to over 65 pages. I’d... Read More

Ask Liza: Avoiding a Lump Sum Inheritance
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza My father wants to leave some of his assets to my brother and sister, however neither of them is particularly adept at handling money and he doesn’t want to hand them a large, lump sum. Can a Will stipulate that they receive payments on... Read More

Attention estates lawyers in CA, CT, FL, MI, NY & OH. Did you know LexisNexis offers fully-automated, state-specific forms, powered by HotDocs®?
Posted on 19 Mar 2010 by LexisNexis Estate and Elder Law Community Staff

CALIFORNIA : California Wills and Trusts Drafting System Now powered by HotDocs®, this easy-to-use software will help you create customized wills, trusts and many other estate-related documents from scratch. Based on the enormously popular... Read More

Should You Add Provisions for Email and Social Networking Accounts in a Will?
Posted on 19 Nov 2009 by Alice Magdziak

An article on an Australian news website run by Fox ( recently posed the question, “What happens to email and social networking profiles when you die?” Assuming that the person dies without telling someone how to access all his... Read More

Tags: Wills

A GUIDING HAND: Assisting An Ailing Testator With Signing Their Will
Posted on 4 Mar 2010 by Jennifer Hillman

The heirs of Melvin Simon, the billionaire shopping mall magnate, are embroiled in a bitter estate struggle contesting a will signed by Mr. Simon seven months before his death. Simon's eldest daughter claims there was undue influence because Simon's... Read More

I don't do "simple" wills. In fact, I don't sell wills. I sell advice
Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by David A. Shulman

Miami criminal defense attorney Brian Tannebaum recently wrote a post on his blog entitled, " Do People Who Aren't Hungry Go to Restaurants? " In his post he states that clients are often shopping for the cheapest lawyer, and recently... Read More

Ask Liza: Naming a Minor as a Beneficiary of an IRA
Posted on 30 Sep 2014 by Liza Weiman Hanks

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: I want to name my minor grandchildren as beneficiaries of my IRA account. How do I do that? Can I use my Will? It’s a smart idea to name minors as beneficiaries of your IRAs. Since they are young, they’ll... Read More

Ask Liza: Disinheriting a Child
Posted on 10 Nov 2014 by Liza Weiman Hanks

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: My husband and I both have a will that states we are each other’s beneficiaries and executor’s and our son as 100% beneficiary of both of us died,. My husband has a daughter by a previous marriage. If my... Read More

Undue Influence and Wills
Posted on 1 Apr 2011 by Sandra L. Smith

The Supreme Court of Georgia recently decided a case in which it found that a will was product of undue influence and fraud, and that the testator lacked testamentary capacity. In McDaniel v. McDaniel (S10A1497, March 7, 2011), the testator, Mr. McDaniel... Read More

Digging A Little Deeper: Less Obvious Attesting Witness-Beneficiaries Find Their Bequest Void Under NY EPTL 3-3.2
Posted on 8 Feb 2013 by Jennifer Hillman

It is well-understood by estate practitioners that a beneficiary of an estate should not serve as an attesting witness to a will. If he does, he or she is a competent witness for purposes of probating the will, however, under EPTL 3-3.2 , the bequest... Read More