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Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From Trusts & Estates

After a rainy weekend spent cramming for my T&E final, here are the top 10 things that I’ve learned from this course in law school.

1. get a will
2. better yet, get an inter vivos trust with a pour over will – then you can avoid probate
3. NO ONE understands the rule against perpetuities – including most law profs
4. the right to give away your stuff is via civil law – it is NOT a Constitutional right (and I’m with Locke on this one, NOT Jefferson)
5.  Your pet can’t take in wills – but they can have trust $$$
6.  get a will – did I mention that one already?
7.  make sure you can revoke your trusts if you are creating them
8.  the ability to marry is lowest, followed by the ability to write a will, and the ability to contract takes the most legal capacity – (They say it is because the ability to marry is a Constitutionally protected right, I say it’s probably that way for other reasons…I digress)
9.  There are WAY too many ways and rules that cover T&E – UPC, and each state is different – and there’s minorities and majorities, and on top of that, different courts using different standards (undue influence is a great example–there are 3 tests) and different schemes (like English per stirpies, modern per stirpies, etc) to give stuff away.  DISLIKE.  I struggle to memorize ONE way anymore with my remaining 5 brain cells.
10.  You won’t find me screaming a noncupative will before imminent death – because I ALREADY. HAVE. A. WILL!  But maybe I should have set up an inter vivos trust….

….ugh – lawyers!

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