Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Article on Inheritance and the Posthumously Conceived Child (2017) Conveyancing and Property Lawyer (November)

In-vitro-fertilization-the-milan-court-rejects-lawNeil Maddox recently posted an Article entitled, Inheritance and the Posthumously Conceived Child (2017) Conveyancing and Property Lawyer (November), Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

A child may be born after the death of its natural father. That has always been the case. Modern advances in technology now create a new possibility and a child may be both conceived and born after the death of its father. This creates many legal complexities and uncertainties, one of which relates to the posthumously conceived child’s capacity to inherit from the deceased father’s estate. This article examines the novel legal questions that arise in relation to such children and succession. In particular, the extent to which sperm is inheritable, the obstacles faced by posthumously conceived children in inheriting from the natural father and the circumstances when a duty to provide for the child from the estate will arise.

 

November 4, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

California Looks to “Green-ify Death After Brown Signs Water-Cremation Bill

81XZuf2+T1L._SY450_Californians may be able to opt for water-cremation as early as 2020 thanks to a bill recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Water cremation is currently legal in fourteen states and does not use fossil fuels or produce carbon emissions like traditional cremation. The process entails placing the deceased into a pod-like vat and then immersing the remains in an alkaline solution for at least four hours at a temperature of around 300 degrees. While traditional cremation leaves behind ash, water-cremation leaves behind a brown fluid with a consistency similar to syrup.

See Edmunde DeMarche, California Looks to “Green-ify Death After Brown Signs Water-Cremation Bill, Fox News, October 19, 2017.

October 24, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Article on NOTE: Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children: A Plan for Nevada

MaxresdefaultCassandra M. Ramey recently published an Article entitled, NOTE: Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children: A Plan for Nevada, 17 Nev. L.J. 773 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Part I of this note will provide definitions and a brief history of posthumously conceived children, including a discussion of their rights at common law, as well as descriptions regarding the essential technology used in the creation of posthumously conceived children. Part II will include a discussion of current Uniform Acts as well as cases that have addressed the issue of posthumously conceived children. Part III will contain a discussion of current Nevada law relating to posthumously conceived children, and how a statute, or the lack thereof, will influence that law. Part IV will identify the four necessary factors that lawmakers should consider in drafting a statute granting inheritance rights to posthumously conceived children, address the pros and cons of each of those factors in turn, and make a recommendation based upon those considerations.

October 23, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Court Holds Personal Representatives May Provide Lawful Consent Under the Stored Communications Act,

Jim_LammThe Stored Communications Act prevents online service providers from violating a user’s privacy rights by releasing their electronic data without permission. While this serves to protect personal information, the law has also erected an unwieldy barrier for family members and fiduciaries seeking online information concerning those who have passed away. There are some exceptions to the act, but the language is permissive and allows the service providers the choice to release information. Another issue, the part of the statute outlining these exceptions fails to expressly state whether a personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the authority to stand in the shoes of the deceased in order to gain access to this information.

In Ajemian v. Yahoo!, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held “that the personal representatives may provide lawful consent on the decedent’s behalf to the release of the contents of the Yahoo email account.” Despite this ruling, the permissive language found in the statute remains. It does not require release of the information, but gives the service provider the option to release online information to the representative of a decedent’s estate.

See Jim Lamm, Court Holds Personal Representatives May Provide Lawful Consent Under the Stored Communications Act, Digital Passing, October 16, 2017.

October 20, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Unsent Text Message OK As Valid Will

1507586132688A 55-year-old Australian man drafted a text for his brother just before taking his life. The text message included a terse disposition of real property, but it was never sent. The Supreme Court in Brisbane held the draft to be enough for consideration as a valid will. Justice Susan Brown reasoned: “The reference to his house and superannuation and his specification that the applicant was to take her own things indicates he was aware of the nature and extent of his estate, which was relatively small.”

See Unsent Text Message OK As Valid Will, Says Australian Court, Fox News, October 10, 2017.

October 16, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation, Technology, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Article on The Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: A Primer for Estate Planners

59602861511475746741_YqNfYocymAGerry W. Beyer recently posted an Article entitled, The Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: A Primer for Estate Planners, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Prudent professionals must address digital assets in all estates they plan or administer. The 2017 Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act as Chapter 2001 of the Estates Code which adds clarity to the steps you need to take when planning and administering estates. This article aims to provide the information you need to be well-informed about the cyberspace-estate planning interface.

Special thanks to Robert H. Sitkoff (John L. Gray Professor of Law, Harvard Law School) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 26, 2017 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Judge THROWS OUT Lawsuit Filed by Sofia Vergara's Own Embryos As Part of Her Ex-Fiancée’s Legal Battle over Frozen Eggs That He Named Emma and Isabella

VergaraA Louisiana judge dismissed a case filed against Sofia Vergara by her ex-fiancée, Nick Loeb. Loeb and Vergara had two viable embryos frozen while they were dating. Loeb wants to find a surrogate for the embryos, which he has already named. Vergara wants them to remain frozen. Vergara is pointing to the original agreement the couple signed dictating both she and Loeb would need to provide consent for the embryos to be implanted. Whoever wins this legal battle, victory will not be found in the Bayou State. The judge held that the Louisiana court did not have jurisdiction over the embryos as they were conceived in California.

See Kaileen Gaul, Judge THROWS OUT Lawsuit Filed by Sofia Vergara's Own Embryos As Part of Her Ex-Fiancée’s Legal Battle over Frozen Eggs That He Named Emma and Isabella, Daily Mail.com, August 25, 2017.

August 29, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Article on The New Uniform Digital Assets Law: Estate Planning and Administration in the Information Age

CloudMichael D. Walker recently published an Article entitled, The New Uniform Digital Assets Law: Estate Planning and Administration in the Information Age, 52 Real Prop. Trust & Est. L.J. 51 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The “Information Age” has significantly changed the estate planning process by adding digital assets to decedents’ estates. This Article examines the definition of digital assets, as well as the state and federal laws affecting digital assets. It also provides estate planning attorneys with advice on how to deal with digital assets in estate planning and administration.

August 28, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act -- Explanation and Forms

DigitalGerry W. Beyer and Kerri Nipp have just posted on SSRN their article entitled Cyber Estate Planning and Administration.

This article aims to educate estate planning professionals on the importance of planning for the disposition and administration of digital assets so that fiduciaries can locate, access, protect, and properly dispose of them. The operation of the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act now enacted in at least thirty-six states is explained in detail. Several planning techniques that may be employed are discussed and the appendices include sample forms clients may use to organize their digital assets and sample language that can be used in estate planning documents, court orders, and in request letters to digital asset custodians.

August 21, 2017 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation, Technology, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Article on The Online Assets: The Post-Mortem Disposal. The Short Overview of Current Problems (For Russian Readers)

Russia-kremlin-gettyПавел Дробышев recently published an Article entitled, The On-Line Assets: The Post-Mortem Disposal. The Short Overview of Current Problems (For Russian Readers), Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Russian Abstract: Статья содержит краткий обзор правовых проблем посмертного распоряжения электронными активами граждан.

English Abstract: The paper presents a short overview of current legal problems in post-mortem disposal of on-line assets.

Special thanks to Robert H. Sitkoff (John L. Gray Professor of Law, Harvard Law School) for bringing this article to my attention.

August 19, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)