HeirMail® – March’19



Industry News

Court Holds That A Will Left A Partial Intestacy

by David Fowler Johnson |
In Sullivan v. Hatchett, a husband executed a will giving his wife a life estate in his property. No. 07-17-00296-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 980 (Tex. App.—Amarillo February 11, 2019, no pet. history). The will then provided:

THIRD: In the event [Juanita] should predecease me, or if we should die in or as a result of the same accident or disaster, or if she should not survive until ninety (90) days after my death . . . I hereby give, devise, grant and bequeath outright and in fee simple, fifty per cent (50%) of my said estate unto my Daughter, SHERRY LAYNE GIBSON HATCHETT . . .
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Can Boilerplate Raise Contracts of the Dead
from the Grave?

Can Boilerplate Raise Contracts of the Dead from the Grave

by William A. Drennan |

Contracts of the Dead

In deciding that the “successors and assigns” language did not trigger contract survival, the court stated the boilerplate was not “of any moment.”

When death arrives, must the estate attempt to channel the decedent’s skills and complete any remaining contractual duties? The outcome does not always hinge solely on whether the remaining duties are personal services. Instead, the intent of the parties is paramount. Courts disagree whether boilerplate, such as clauses that the contract is “binding on successors or assigns,” or is “binding on heirs, executors, and administrators,” reflects the intent of the parties and causes personal service contracts to survive a party’s death.
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Estate Planning With Bitcoin Explained

Estate Planning With Bitcoin Explained

by Robert D. Kaplow, Esq. |
So your client bought some type of cryptocurrency (bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc.). He hopes that the value will skyrocket and represent a sizable portion of his estate. If that dream comes to pass, how do you handle those bitcoins for estate planning purposes? (For purposes of this article, all cryptocurrencies will be referred to as bitcoin.)
One of the major selling points for purchasing bitcoins is its anonymity. There is no paper trail, and there are no physical assets to touch. However, this becomes a major problem when your client dies. How does his family access the bitcoins? Do they even know that he owns bitcoins?
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