Trusts & Estates Outline Foster – Law School

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Trusts & Estates Outline  Foster


                                      GENERALLY
I  Inheritance & Its Limitations...................................................................1
   A. Gen'l Rule  Testator can place conditions on inheritance b/c there is not
      natural/Constitutional right to receive property
   B. Limits on Conditions
   C. Reoccurring Issue  Conflict b/t deadhand and interests of descendants/society
II The Probate Process
   A. Probate v. Non-probate property
   B. Transfers
   C. Closing the Estate

                                    INTESTATE SUCESSION
I     Generally..........................................................................................2
      A. Intestate = Passage of probate property when decedent dies w/out will
      B. Governed by Statute of the State
II    Intestacy Rights of Surviving Spouse & Children
      A. Gen'l Rule: Surviving spouse usually gets most of the estate.
      B. Defining "Spouse"
      C. Defining "Children".........................................................................3
III   Distribution to Descendents
      A. Analytical Approach
      B. Three Schemes Used by States............................................................4
      C. Disinheritance................................................................................5
IV    Intestacy Rights of Ancestors & Collaterals
      A. This Only Comes Into Play if Decedent has no Descendents/Issue!!!
      B. Ancestors
      C. First Line Collaterals
      D. Second Line Collaterals
V     Bars to Succession................................................................................6
      A. Advancements
      B. Disclaimer
      C. Homicide
      D. Other Unworthy Heirs  Neglect , Abuse, Fraud, ect.,.................................7

                                          WILLS
I  Requirements for ALL Valid Wills (Statutory Execution Requirements)................8
   A. Testamentary Capacity
   B. Freedom from 3d Pty Interference
   C. Testamentary Intent........................................................................10
II Attested Wills: Additional Statutory Requirements
   A. Function of Formalities
   B. Requirements  3 of them
   C. Examples ....................................................................................12



                                                     i
    D. What State Law Governs the Statutory Requirements................................12
    E. Curative Doctrines for Mistake in Execution  Wills that Don't Meet the Strict
       Statutory Requirements
III Unattested Wills: Statutory Requirements..................................................13
    A. Oral/Nuncupative Wills
    B. Holographic Wills
IV Revocation & Revival of Wills...............................................................14
    A. Revocation in Entirety
    B. Partial Revocation..........................................................................15
    C. Revival  3 Approaches...................................................................17
V Will Components  How to Get Outside Documents Included in Will..................18
    A. Integration  When Documents are Considered to be Part of Will
    B. Incorporation by Reference  Terms of Document are Considered Part of Will
    C. Republication by Codicil  Codicil Treated as if Re-executes Will.................19
    D. Tangible Personal Property Document
    E. Acts of Independent Significance
    F. Pour-Over Wills
VI Construction of Wills...........................................................................20
    A. Mistakes
    B. Lapse  Death of a Beneficiary before Death of T....................................22
    C. Change in Property after Execution of Will............................................23
VII Restrictions on Power of Disposition: Family Protection.................................24
    A. Protection of Spouse
    B. Protection of Children.....................................................................28
    C. Extension of Slayer Statutes..............................................................29

                                              TRUSTS
I   Generally.........................................................................................30
    A. Definition
    B. Inter Vivos Trust
    C. Testamentary Trust
II Requirements for Creation of Trusts
    A. Valid Purpose
    B. Settlor  Must have Legal and Mental Capacity
    C. Transfer of Property
    D. Trustee.......................................................................................31
    E. Intent
    F. Trust Instrument  Written v. Oral
    G. Trust Property..............................................................................32
    H. Beneficiaries  2 Requirements
III Types of Express Private Trusts..............................................................34
    A. Two General Types (Mandatory and Discretionary)
    B. Trusts Created for Special Purposes.....................................................33
    C. Trusts with Unstated Express Terms....................................................36
IV Charitable Trusts................................................................................36
    A. Same Requirements as Creation for All Trusts, But:



                                                   ii
   B. 3 Things Distinguish Charitable Trusts from Private Trusts.........................37
   C. Supervision.................................................................................38
V Trusts by Operation of Law
   A. Constructive Trusts
   B. Resulting Trusts............................................................................39
VI Modification and Termination of Trusts
   A. Automatic Termination
   B. Voluntary Modification or Termination
   C. Trustee Removal...........................................................................40

                          FIDUCIARY ADMINISTRATION
I   Fiduciary Powers...............................................................................41
    A. Executors
    B. Trustees
II Fiduciary Duties  Judicial and Statutory Limits on Fiduciary Powers
    A. Duty of Loyalty
    B. Duty to Follow the Terms of the Will/Trust............................................42
    C. Duty of Prudence in Administering Trust/Estate Property
III Remedies for Breach of Fiduciary Duties...................................................44
    A. Co-Trustee Liability
    B. Remedy Options
    C. Exculpatory Clauses........................................................................45

                   INTERVIVOS TRANSFERS OF PROPERTY
I  Contract to Make a Will........................................................................46
   A. Rule  Anybody can Make a Contract to Make a Will
   B. Common Fact Pattern
   C. Ways to Prove K
   D. Remedy
II Gifts
   A. Elements of Inter Vivos Gift
   B. Causa Mortis




                                                 iii
                                    GENERALLY
I  Inheritance & Its Limitations
   A. Gen'l Rule  Testator can place conditions on inheritance b/c there is no
      natural/Constitutional right to receive property (Shapira)
      1. Called "dead hand"
   B. Limits on Conditions  Testator CANNOT place an unreasonable restraint on
      behavior that public policy favors (e.g., marriage, freedom of religion, etc.)
      1. Factors in determining resonableness
          a. Size of population to choose from
          b. Length of time to make the satisfy the condition
      2. Ex.  Condition that can't marry is unreasonable restrain, but condition that
          marry Jewish girl NOT unreasonable restrain on marriage b/c lots of Jewish
          girls to choose from (Shapira)
   C. Reoccurring Issue  Conflict b/t deadhand/testamentary intent and interests of
      decedents/society at large
      1. Called "problem of the deadhand"
II The Probate Process
   A. Probate v. Non-Probate Property
      1. Probate = property that passes by decedent's will or intestacy
      2. Non-Probate = property that passes by another instrument (e.g., joint tenancy,
          life insurance, contracts payable at death, interest in a trust)
   B. Transfers  Transfer of probate property must take place pursuant to court order,
      transfer of non-probate property doesn't require court order b/c govern by terms
      of non-probate transfer instrument.
   C. Closing the Estate  3 things must always be done b/f probate estate closed
      1. Creditors must be paid
      2. Titles must be cleared
      3. Taxes must be paid




                                           1
                               INTESTATE SUCESSION
I  Generally
   A. Intestate = Passage of probate property when decedent dies w/out will
   B. Governed by Statute of the State
      1. Purpose of statute is to do what most decedents would have done if died w/ a
          will (carry out decedent's probable intent)
II Intestacy Rights of Surviving Spouse & Children
   A. Gen'l Rule: Surviving spouse usually gets most of the estate. Could be entire
      estate, percentage of estate, or flat amount and percentage of estate
      1. Rat
          a. Primary: Marriage is economic partnership, most ppl. would want
              surviving spouse to have majority (if not all) of estate
          b. Secondary: Family protection, ensure economic health of family after
              death
      2. Policy Issues
          a. Couple might not have been married very long
          b. Decedent could have child from previous marriage that spouse would
              neglect
      3. Solutions  most states provide for separate share for decedent's children from
          pervious marriage and sometimes decedent's parents
          a. Ex  UPC 2-102: Surviving spouse gets everything, unless decedent has
              surviving children or parents, then estate apportioned
   B. Defining "Spouse"
      1. Bigamous relationship  Doesn't fall under plain language of statute b/c 2d
          marriage not legal.
          a. Putative Spouse Rule If 2d spouse doesn't know about 1st marriage
              (innocent), then ct. likely to give putative spouse a share b/c policy of stat.
              (probable intent of decedent) is met
              i. Requirements
                   a. Marriage in good faith
                   b. Marriage was duly solemnized
              ii. NOTE  But this still depends on the jurisdiction. Some states may
                   not give putative spouse a dime
          b. Theories on apportionment
              i. Ration  Split estate depending on how much time decedent spent with
                   each spouse
              ii. Equity  Look at which spouse needs the money more
              iii. Partnership  What each wife contributed to the estate
      2. Unmarried Co-habitants
          a. Majority approach  no intestacy rights b/c not legally married
          b. Minority approach
              i. Common law marriage states  intestacy rights if: public reputation,
                   cohabitation, mutual consent to marry, and competency
                   a. But this wouldn't apply in states that don't allow gay marriage b/c
                       not competency
              ii. UPC 2-102(B)  intestacy rights for "committed partners"



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