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Copy Of Will Was Good Enough

Copy Of Will Was Good Enough

November 27, 2013

Authored by: Luke Lantta

Originally posted on bryancavefiduciarylitigation.com

Testators may want to keep careful track of who has copies of their will and where those copies are.  If only a copy of a will – and not the original – is found, it may raise a question about whether the testator destroyed the original in an attempt to revoke it.  Such was the argument made by the caveators in Johnson v. Fitzgerald.  Let’s see why the Georgia Supreme Court felt like a copy was good enough to admit to probate in solemn form.

The executor of an estate offered a copy of a will for probate in solemn form, requesting that it be admitted to probate upon proper proof.  The original could not be found.  The testator’s heirs at law filed a caveat alleging that the will had been revoked by the testator’s destruction of it.

Under Georgia law, if

Copy Of Will Was Good Enough

November 26, 2013

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Copy Of Will Was Good Enough

November 26, 2013

Authored by: Luke Lantta

Testators may want to keep careful track of who has copies of their will and where those copies are.  If only a copy of a will – and not the original – is found, it may raise a question about whether the testator destroyed the original in an attempt to revoke it.  Such was the argument made by the caveators in Johnson v. Fitzgerald.  Let’s see why the Georgia Supreme Court felt like a copy was good enough to admit to probate in solemn form.

Georgia Appellate Court Construes Language In Deed

November 21, 2013

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When conveying property, why do the words in a deed – especially when they deal with remainder interests – sometimes end up causing us so much trouble?  Occasionally, it’s a product of a different time and different statutes.  In Wilkes v. Fraser, the Georgia Court of Appeals was tasked with a particularly cumbersome bit of language in a deed, which was only made more difficult by the passage of time and the passage of people.  Anytime an appellate court attaches a chart of familial relationships to its opinion, you know it’s going to get rough.

“Best Interest Of The Estate” Is Not The Same As “Good Cause”

November 19, 2013

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Holding real property can be a huge financial drain on an estate.  There are a lot of reasons why it might make sense to try to sell property rather than maintain it during the administration of an estate.

In Georgia, when it comes to selling estate property, however, it makes a difference whether it is a personal representative selling the property or whether it is a temporary administrator selling the property.  Because, as the Georgia Court of Appeals made clear in In re Estate of Price, a different standard will apply based on the authority of the fiduciary selling the property.

Three Private Client Attorneys Named to Best Lawyer Status For Thirty Years

November 15, 2013

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Six of Bryan Cave’s attorneys are featured in a special publication of The Best Lawyers in America for having achieved “Best Lawyer” status in each of the list’s 30 years of publication.  St. Louis Partner Lawrence Brody; St. Louis Partner John Michael Clear; Atlanta Of Counsel William Linkous Jr.; DC Partner Stanley Marcuss; St. Louis Partner Michael Newmark; and Atlanta Of Counsel Joe Thompson all have been featured in Best Lawyers since the first directory was published in 1983. Best Lawyers is the oldest lawyer-rating publication in the United States. The 30-year list of honorees ran in numerous regional outlets recently, including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Congratulations to our Private Client attorneys, Lawrence Brody, William Linkous, Jr., and Michael Newmark for being three of those six!

Michael Bland Named One of Denver’s 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers

November 15, 2013

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Denver Partner Michael Bland was recognized in the November issue of 5280 Magazine and ColoradoBiz Magazine as one of Denver’s 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers, as rated by Five Star Professional – an independent research organization that recognizes professionals in the legal, financial services and accounting industries who provide exceptional service to their clients. Bland was selected for the third year in a row as a Five Star Wealth Manager, an award given to less than 7 percent of wealth managers in the Denver area.

Congratulations Michael!

Illinois Caregiver Remains Trust Beneficiary

November 14, 2013

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Caregivers sometimes end up getting written into a will or a trust.  When they do, it’s not surprising if litigation ensues.  In Gardner v. Cole (Rule 23 order), we get to see an Illinois caregiver and her husband withstand a challenge by the grantor’s surviving relatives to impose a constructive trust over the trust assets and bank accounts that went to the caregiver and her husband.  So, how was the caregiver successful?

Georgia Probate Court Lacked Authority To Extend Time To Appeal

November 12, 2013

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Probate court litigation can be very different from other types of litigation, especially when it comes to procedural matters.  Within a single probate case, there can be multiple evidentiary hearings, which can be like mini-trials.  Also, the probate court may enter numerous orders along the way, the rules of appealing which can be different from typical appeals.  For example, in Georgia, “[a]n appeal shall lie to the superior court from any decision made by the probate court, except an order appointing a temporary administrator.”  The time limit for such an appeal is “within 30 days of the date the judgment, order, or decision complained of was entered.”  How hard is that 30 day time limit?  In Duncan v. Moreland, the Georgia Court of Appeals let us know.

Indiana Guardians Not Permitted To File Petitions For Dissolution Of Marriage

November 7, 2013

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In contrast to a case from Michigan we looked at earlier this year, in McGee v. McGee, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reaffirmed that Indiana statutes do not authorize a guardian to file a petition for dissolution of marriage on behalf of his or her ward.

While Indiana statutes allow the guardian of an incapacitated person to take action and to make decisions for the benefit of an incapacitated person, the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage on behalf of an incapacitated person is not one of those actions or decisions.

 

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