Authenticity of a Last Will and Testament

On August 16, 2012, in Estate planning, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Authenticity of Last Will and Testament

Thomas Kinkade’s estate is being contested

The importance of having a Last Will and Testament or more commonly referred to as a Will, cannot be overstated.  A simple Will is a document that has great importance to wealthy persons as well as those with not much to leave behind.  Generally, a Will is used as a concrete guide in distributing the  Testators Estate.  Circumstances can arise which complicate matters however.  One of these circumstances are when the Testator drafts more than one Will or Codicil.

Currently, the famous, late artist, Thomas Kinkade’s estate is being contested.  The dispute is between his wife (from whom he is separated from) and his girlfriend (whom he lived with at the time of his death).  The interesting twist in his case is that he had drafted several Wills and Codicils that the courts must now sort through to determine their authenticity.  The American Bar Journal’s Mark Hansen wrote an article summarizing the issues.  The link to the article is listed below.

ABA Journal – August 16, 2012

Estate Planning Attorney in Mineola

If you have questions regarding the authenticity of a last will and testament, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620.

Use Will to Appoint Guardian for Minor Children

On August 6, 2012, in Estate planning, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Use Will to Appoint Guardian

Use will to appoint guardian for your minor children.

It’s hard to plan for the worst, but failing to do so may only make things harder.  When drafting a will, it is all too easy to imagine that it will only be used when our children are grown, perhaps with families of their own. But thinking this way may cause us to focus too narrowly on deciding who gets our property.  What if things don’t happen according to this timeline?  What if you die before your children are able to take care of themselves?  Who will care for them?  Who would you like to make this decision – yourself or a court?

New York’s Domestic Relations Law allows parents to use wills to appoint guardians for their minor children.  Guardians can be appointed to take physical custody of children, and to look after the finances and assets that are left to those children.  Further, parents can choose a different guardian for each of these tasks – one to look after the child, one to administer the child’s finances.  When a guardian is appointed, courts will generally respect the parent’s decision (although a court could find that the guardian is unfit).  However, if a parent doesn’t appoint a guardian, the court will make this decision itself.  If you feel uncomfortable about leaving such a decision in the hands of a court, The Law Firm of Vaughn and Weber can help you draft a will that appoints a guardian for your child.

If you have questions about this or other legal issues, call The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to schedule a free consultation.

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