We write a lot about estate disputes and litigation , , , because we are frequently involved in them. We have brought cases on behalf of beneficiaries and heirs and we have defended cases on behalf of the estate and/or executors. Every case is, of course, different, sometimes wildly so. They do shar...

Lawyers in estate planning and probate cases sometimes have a unique perspective on families and relationships. Not Tolstoy "every happy family" perspective, but a pretty in-depth perspective nevertheless. That is hardly a secret, it seems that families know it - or at least sense it - most of the t...

We, obviously I think, see a lot of disputes during the probate process. It's part of what we do day by day. We've been running a series of workshops lately with hospice workers all over the Greater Atlanta area. They ask a lot of questions about family disputes because they see it and they see the ...

About Signing

A quick note about something that seems simple but always seems to get a big reaction at our workshops when we bring it up. It doesn't get laughs or comments, just a lot of people shifting in chairs and giving each other that ‘boy, have we all been through this’ look. That happens when we talk...

Untangling …

We just posted an article with the caption, 'untangling Prince's estate.' The use of the verb 'untangle' in any of its tenses in the context of probate is just chilling to us. We do a lot of 'untangling' and one of the saddest things about it is that a great deal of it is unnecessary. We've posted ...

When we started a new series of blog posts back in April we weren't sure what direction things would go. It turns out that we hit on a few recurring themes and in looking back we realize these are themes for our times. It may seem like we wrote across a diverse spectrum of subjects - we did manage t...

  Erik Broel and the Georgia Probate Law Group have just released a new edition of the Georgia Probate Handbook.   How much do you know about the legal process of settling an estate in Georgia? How about the three phases every estate must go through? How to identify heirs? The ten ques...

Over the last few weeks we've been posting about wills, probate, the disinheriting of family members late in a testators life.This is something that's been described as a nationwide epidemic and the source of more and more probate contests and straight out litigation. Our posts are filled with examp...

We're revisiting an earlier blog post about gifts. Gifting, bequeathing, leaving to a trust, donations to charity. Usually, there are only nice connotations attached to gifts. It is, however, a cold, hard fact that a lot of the time one person's gift is another's 'disinheriting'. We'll be writing ab...

Sometimes probate is all about trying to figure out the deceased's wishes. Sometimes people aren't all that clear with instructions, or identifying an asset, or a hundred other things. Then, it's up to the probate judge to try to figure it all out - with or without help. That's tough enough, but, of...

You hear about simple wills all the time. Usually, it means someone executed 'just' a will, a will that took care of everything without the need for trusts. You know, simple. We find that a lot of people also think: simple will, simple probate, no problems, no worries. It's a natural enough assumpti...

When a promise leads to a will contest, no one wins. That may seem obvious to us, here, now, from a remove, yet it happens over and over again. We have a friend who did some pretty involved business planning for a family owned business in the Northeast about five years ago. It was somewhat complica...

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