Tag Archives: Will Disputes
Technology, particularly relating to communication, is ubiquitous and ever-expanding in scope and ability. From text messaging to social media, there are seemingly more ways to communicate now than ever before. Is that correspondence admissible at trial? Trials are governed by the rules of evidence. These rules are detailed, nuanced, and not always intuitive. As practitioners, we typically become involved in estate disputes weeks, months, or even years after the initial dispute breaks out. During this time, a great deal of potentially relevant evidence has likely been generated through the exchange of emails, texts, letters, and the like.
What Happens When a Will’s Language is Inconsistent with the Titling of an Account Held with Survivorship?
A common question on most financial/investment account applications is whether an account-holder desires to own the account with one or more persons, with or without survivorship. Owning an account with “survivorship” means that upon the passing of one account-holder, the entirety of the funds will pass to the surviving account-holder (regardless of what the departed account-holder’s will or trust provides). A common question that we encounter is what happens when a will’s language is inconsistent with the titling of an account held with survivorship? The short answer is that the survivorship titling of the account will typically control over a …
[ CONTINUE READING]
A Bewildering Bequest: The Supreme Court of Virginia Weighs in on the Meaning of a Will’s Residuary Clause
Most people are familiar with the basic contents of a will. Wills typically name an executor, order the payment of debts and expenses, and provide for the distribution of the testator’s (will-maker) property. Many wills provide for specific property to pass to specific people. These are known as specific bequests or devises. In addition to such bequests or devises, most wills contain a residuary clause – sort of a catch-all disposition for all of the rest and remainder of the estate. They typically read something like this: “I leave all of the rest, residue, and remainder of my property, of …
[ CONTINUE READING]