Estate Planning

Inheritance in Unusual Circumstances

State statutes of descent and distribution are usually supplemented by other statutes or court rulings governing inheritance in unusual circumstances. This article discusses some of those unusual circumstances.

Co-Ownership Myths – III

One of the most confusing aspects of estate planning is the numerous myths about co-ownership of property. Many people do not understand the differences between a tenancy in common and a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Many people do not understand what a tenancy by the entirety is or was. Many people do not understand the differences between the common law forms of co-ownership and community property.

Trust Elements – Trustee

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.

Hilton on Charity

A remarkable statement about the nature of charity entered the public domain after hotel chain founder Conrad N. Hilton died on January 3, 1979, in Santa Monica, California. As the founder and head of Hilton hotels, Mr. Hilton was a very financially-rich man. A portion of his will revealed that he had begun to measure the riches of a man or woman in other ways. In his will, Mr. Hilton bequeathed property to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He also described the nature of charity as follows.

Testamentary Intent

In order to make a will, a person must intend to make a will. A person must have what is known as testamentary intent. The adjective ‘testamentary’ means related to a will, and is a derivative of the word ‘testament’–the Latin word for will. The Latin phrase for testamentary intent is animus testandi, “the intention to make a testament.”

Personal Injury

Liability of Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers are responsible for the flow of air traffic in and around airports. The controllers must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The duties of the controllers are set forth in operations manuals that are prepared by the FAA. The controllers must transmit the information that is set forth in the manuals and must take all steps that are necessary for the safety of pilots and passengers.

The Basic Law of Fraud

As a general rule, it is not illegal to say something that is not true. The general rule probably evolved from the fact that, in addition to engaging in intentional deception, human beings can simply be mistaken. It is also true that some false statements do not deceive because they come from sources known to be unreliable. If we do not rely on the mistaken statements of others, they do us no harm.

Automobile Racing

Automobile racing is an inherently dangerous sport due to the high speeds. Crashes on the track can mean serious injuries or even fatalities to participants as well as spectators, which could lead to negligence actions against the racing facility’s owner.

Torts in Football

Football is the prototypical contact sport in which participants may suffer many injuries. In addition, there is the potential for spectators to be injured during the course of the game. This article addresses situations in which spectators and participants may recover in a tort action for injuries that they suffer as a result of viewing a football game or participating in such a contest.

Federal Volunteer Protection Act — Punitive and Noneconomic Damages

The federal Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) limits punitive damage awards against volunteers in cases in which they are not immune from liability.

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