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January 2018 Archives

What to know about pet trusts

If a loved one’s will is poised to enter probate and you discover that a substantial amount of money has been left for the care of a family pet, it probably is not a misprint or a basis to challenge the will due to lack of capacity. Instead it is likely evidence of a growing trend.

The surprising breakdown of foreign property purchases

If you are considering purchasing real estate in the United States, you may be surprised if you meet resistance. The recent flood of foreigners purchasing residential property in cities like New York has some observers complaining. Apparently, foreign investors have lately purchased multiple single-family homes, luxury condos and even entire condo towers, driving up the price of real estate for Americans. Many of these exclusive buildings still sit vacant.

Questions surrounding mental incapacity in will contests

To bring a successful will contest, it is important to know the basic requirements for a will to pass probate in New York state. Essentially, a valid will must exhibit mental capacity by the testator (the person making the will), testamentary intent (exhibited by the intent to make the document their expression of how they want their property distributed), and testamentary capacity (aged 18 or older).

The emerging trend in medical office buildings

With our population aging, demand for quality health care will not be abated anytime soon. This ostensibly is why more health care mergers will be seen in 2018. Another expectation on the horizon is a continued focus on providing medical office space near residential  communities and retail outlets.

How to avoid probate if possible

If you are an executor or have a loved one whose estate is ripe for disputes among beneficiaries, the prospect of going through probate may not sit well with you. After all, the notion of heirs and other beneficiaries fighting over pieces of a person’s estate is not exactly the best way to honor a person’s memory. Indeed, it may not be as extreme as some celebrity family fights (e.g. Robin Williams’ family, Casey Kasum, George Michael), but having to fend off greedy people through probate is something to be avoided.

How to recognize a forged will

In our last post, we highlighted a few signs that a will could be forged. Forgeries are a critical legal basis for will contests. If a will is found to be forged, it could be held to be invalid because the forgery does not accurately or legally express the testator’s true intentions.

What to look for if you suspect your loved one's will is forged

It is natural to be skeptical about a will that distributes property in an unconscionable manner. If an elderly loved one inexplicably leaves a majority of their estate to someone they hardly know, a new advisor with a sketchy past or a new, significantly younger flame, challenging a will in this context should be expected.

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