Trust and Estates Newsletters
A remarkable statement about the nature of charity entered the public domain after hotel chain founder Conrad N. Hilton died on January 3, 1979, in Santa Monica, California. As the founder and head of Hilton hotels, Mr. Hilton was a very financially-rich man. A portion of his will revealed that he had begun to measure the riches of a man or woman in other ways. In his will, Mr. Hilton bequeathed property to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He also described the nature of charity as follows.
In many jurisdictions, trusts cannot be revoked unless the trustor expressly retains the right to revoke. Revocable living trusts allow a trustor to manage his assets, to plan for his incapacity, and to avoid probate.
One of the main purposes for making and leaving a will is to guide the administration of the estate of the testator--the person who made the will. A will should be written in language that is clear and indisputable. Alas, the language in a will may be unclear or vague. This article discusses the protection of the testator's surviving spouse from complete disinheritance.
A simple definition of a will can be found in a paralegal textbook, Edward A. Nolfi's Basic Wills, Trusts, and Estates (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill 1995). Mr. Nolfi writes that: "A will is a formal letter to the probate court judge declaring what the maker wants after death." Let's look at each part of this intriguing definition.