Tag Archives: title

Wills – Good and Bad

Published November 2, 2012
United Methodist Foundation for the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences

Where is the Missing Will?

More than 40 wills were submitted to the probate court, with a multitude of potential heirs each claiming to be the true recipient of a wealthy business owner who passed away in 1976. With a $2.5 billion estate at stake, there was an intense interest in the decision of the court.

After extensive review of the 40 documents, the court finally determined that none of the 40 wills were valid. Because there was no valid will, the court divided the $2.5 billion estate among 22 relatives. Court costs, attorney costs, and estate taxes were enormous, but the 22 heirs still each received millions of dollars.

 Why is a Will Important?

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Separate & Joint Property

Published September 14, 2012
United Methodist Foundation for the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences

“My brother Pete and I own a ranch together,” said Joe to his advisor. “Our mother deeded the four sections of her ranch to us with right of survivorship. As a single person, I think that I will plan to leave 50% of my share to Pete and the other half to my favorite charity. Of course, if Pete dies, he is married and probably wants to leave his share to his spouse and children.”

Do Pete and Joe need to review their estate plans? Yes! These two rancher brothers held title as joint tenants with right of survivorship. If the single brother (Joe) were to pass away, Pete would inherit his brother’s half of the ranch. Even though Joe stated that half of his share should go to his favorite charity, nothing will be given to charity.

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