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Most families will experience some level of drama or conflict after the death of a family member. However, for some families, the death of a parent, sibling, or other close family member, can spark a dispute that results in expensive, protracted litigation and causes the breakdown of family relationships.
Alternate dispute resolution ("ADR") has been on the rise as one of the primary ways to bring a dispute to resolution. Rather than spending significant time and money to litigate a case, the recent trend sees the increased use of ADR processes, such as mediation or arbitration, in the negotiation of a settlement outside of the courtroom.
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It is increasingly common for couples to choose to live together without first getting married. This decision may be seen as an intermediary step in the relationship before marriage. Some might view t...
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It can be interesting to see how certain aspects of estate law can work in conjunction with other sectors, and a basic understanding of the related issues is often important when assisting clients in developing or implementing an estate plan.
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Fiduciary can refer to a person acting in a position of trust or a particular kind of obligation. Both fiduciary relationships and fiduciary obligations are based in trust. When someone acts as a fiduciary, he or she has an obligation to act in utmost good faith for the benefit of the person or people with whose interests he or she is entrusted.
Disinheritance is defined in Black's Law Dictionary as "the act by which the owner of an estate deprives a person of the right to inherit the same, who would otherwise be his heir." As such, it can be extremely unsettling for a child to find out that they have been disinherited from their parent's estate.
One scenario commonly encountered is the situation in which an individual dies while negotiating a separation agreement with their spouse, or in the midst of divorce proceedings. While a divorce order will void specific bequests to a spouse, merely initiating negotiations or proceedings may not.
If an estate trustee is able to discover where the deceased stored important records, this is a great start to information-gathering. Difficulties can arise where the deceased has hidden assets away for safekeeping and failed to make these assets more accessible prior to death.