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Trusts and Estates
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Noble-Allgire, Alice M.

 
 
Trusts & Estates Outline (Allgire)
I.          Lawyer-Client Relationship
            A.        Malpractice
TRAD: atty’s only duty was to the client, so if atty messes up and client’s family member loses out, they can’t sue atty b/c no privity and the statute of limitations would have run
a. Lucas v. Hamm abolished the no privity defense
                                    a.         Public Policy favoring:
i.          fear of exposing attys to virtually unlimited potential for liability
ii.         fear of undermining atty’s duty of loyalty to the client         
2.         MOD: liability extends to 3rd party beneficiaries as well as clients. Now the statute of limitations begins to run at the date of death
                                    a.         PP favoring:
                                                i.          to effect grantor’s intent
to deter future negligence
      Allow suit in tort or contract
i. suit in tort requires a finding of negligence (duty, breach, causation, damages
3.         Ct in Holsapple balances this by limiting liability to 3rd parties who demonstrate that:
a.         he/she was specifically identified by the donor as an object of the donor’s intent
the expectancy was lost or diminished as a result of the lawyer’s negligence
4. Some states still have the privity rule
II.        Probate process
            A.        admission of will to probate and appointment of personal representative
            B.        collection of assets and notification of creditors
            C.        resolution of will contests, if any
            D.        pmt of debts, taxes, and administrative expenses
distribution of remainder of estate
Other lifetime transfers
Joint Tenancy
Contract
Life Insurance
Payable on death
Transfer on death
III.       3 types of guardianships:
            A.        guardians of the person
                        1.         minors
                                    a.         3 types of guardians for minors under IL law
                                                i.          guardian (IPC 5/11-5)
                                                ii.         standby guardian (IPC 5/11-5.3)
*          person appointed by the ct to become guardian upon             death/disability of parent
*          guardianship lasts for 60 days, but typically appointed permanent guardianunder 5/11-5
                                                iii.        short-term guardian (IPC 5/11-5.4)
*          person appointed by the parent to become guardian for period of up to 60 days
                        2.         disabled adults (mental illness, gambling, drugs)
            B.        guardians of the estate/property        
      guardians ad litem
1. Protect the child in litigation
IV.       UPC
A.        A set of proposed laws that states may adopt–not the law in any state until the state legislature formally adopts a provision
            B.        We study it b/c:
                        1.         it has been adopted by some states
2.         it has influenced legislation and/or common law in other states (like the Rsmt)
Intestate Succession
I.          Intestate distribution schemes
            A.        to reflect the presumed desires of the decedent
            B.        to protect dependent family members
            C.        to keep property within the nuclear family
      to encourage individuals to accumulate property
      to identify persons who may challenge the will
      to serve as models for other laws which mandate shares for disinherited           
            spouses or forgotten children
      provide models for document drafters
II.        Terminology
A.        heirs–the persons who are designated by the intestacy statute to take your estate if you die w/o a will
                        1.         Typically include:
                                    a.         spouse
                                    b.         descendants/issue (children, grandchildren, etc.)
                                    c.         ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.)
                                    d.         collateral kin (people outside the lines of ascent or desent:                                       brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, etc.)
2.         testator–name of person who dies w/ a will (the person has died testate)
                        3.         executor–person who administers the will (as compared with the                                        “administrator” of the will)
beneficiaries, devisees, or legatees–individuals who take property            
      under the will
III.       Choice of Law
            A.        Real Property
1.         generally governed by the law of the situs (where the property is located)
            B.        Personal Property
1.         Majority-generally governed by the law of the state in which the decedent was domiciled
                        2.         some states apply the law of the situs
                        3.         some states use “most significant contacts” test
IV.       Survivorship
            A.        Intestate statutes distribute property to a decedent’s survivors
            B.        How to determine whether one person survives another:
                        1.         medical evidence
                        2.         legal rules or presumptions
            C.        2   problems survivorship provisions are attempting to address:
1.         how to identify survivors in cases where the exact time of death is unknown
                        2.         how to avoid distributing property to dead perso

                                          *          adopted person
                                                            *          adoptive parents and their relatives
                                                            *          birth parents and their relatives
                                                ii.         issues arise as to:
                                                            *          from whom the adopted person can inherit
                                                            *          who can inherit from the adopted person
                                                iii.        adoption by spouse of natural parent:
*          UPC 2-114(b): adoption by the spouse of a natural parent does not affect the child’s right to inherit from or through the other natural parent
*          IPC 5/2-4(d): child can still inherit from natural parent/relatives if child was adopted by a descendant or spouse of a descendant of the child’s great- grandparent
*          UPC 2-114(c): a natural parent may inherit from or through a child only if the natural parent has openly treated the child as his/hers and has not refused to support the child
*          IPC 5/2-4(b): natural parent/relatives generally cannot inherit from child (except property that the child has acquired from or through that natural parent/relatives)
                                                iv.        adoption after death of natural parent
*          UPC 2-114(b): the special rules for adoption by spouse of natural prent do not apply. Therefore, child is considered to by child of adoptive parents for inheritance purposes
*          IPC 5/2-4(a) & (d)(1): if child is adopted by a relative, he is the child of adoptive parents and natural parents.
>          IPC 5/2-4(a) goes on to provide that an adopted child who is related to decedent through more than one line of relationship shall be entitled only to the share based upon the relationship that gives the child the largest share
                                    c.         posthumous children
i.          TRAD CL rule: a child was considered an heir if he/she was born within nine months after the decedent’s death
 
ii.         UPC: “an individual in gestation . . . is