Wills & Trusts
Visiting Prof. Gerry W. Beyer
[for use with Review Session One]
1. Father made an inter vivos gift to Daughter of $25,000. Father died intestate survived only by Daughter and Son with a distributable estate of $75,000. If Son receives $50,000 from Father’s estate, which one of the following would be the most likely explanation?
A. Father’s gift to Daughter was a satisfaction.
B. Father’s gift to Daughter was an advancement.
C. Daughter executed a valid disclaimer of her entire intestate share.
D. Father’s gift to Son was augmented following the doctrine of dependent relative revocation.
2. Which of the following is/are correct regarding will formalities? Give all correct choices.
A. Nuncupative wills need to be signed by at least two credible witnesses.
B. A will written in pencil is unwise but would nevertheless satisfy the writing requirement.
C. Most states require three witnesses for a valid will.
D. The testator and witnesses should execute a self-proving affidavit.
3. Which one of the following is most likely to render a will invalid?
A. Elizabeth Samuels signed her will “Betty S.”
B. As one of the witnesses signed the will, the testator turned his head and looked out of the window at a big bird that was flying by.
C. One of the witnesses was judicially declared incompetent six weeks before serving as a witness.
D. The will was written in erasable ink.
4. Paul died on April 13, 1998 leaving no will. He was survived by Elizabeth, his wife, and Carolyn, their daughter. Paul is also survived by Rodney, a son born to Paul and Victoria. Paul and Victoria never married and Paul never adopted Rodney. Rodney died on April 16, 1998 survived only by his wife, Doris, and their twin sons, Jason and Willie.
Paul’s distributable estate consists of:
a) Community property
b) Quasi-community property
c) Separate personal property — $600,000 cash
Under California Law, what is the correct disposition of Paul’s estate? Explain your answer fully.
5. Dee C. Dent’s valid will in relevant part reads as follows:
Disposition of Estate
A. I leave my collection of empty sardine cans to my beloved husband, Herman Dent. If Herman predeceases me, I leave the collection to the Sardine Association of America.
B. I leave $10,000 to my wonderful son, Oscar Dent.
C. I leave $40,000 to my siblings, share and share alike.
D. I leave $150,000 to my best friend, Steve Austin.
E. All the rest, residue, and remainder I leave to the Ground Zero Society.
Dee died on November 1, 1998 while giving birth to a second son, Felix Dent. Herman had a heart attack and had died about nine months earlier. Dee sold the sardine can collection on October 31, 1995 for $50,000. Dee had four siblings when the will was executed but only Sarah survived Dee. All siblings were (are) married and have surviving children. After paying all debts and administration expenses, $100,000 remains for distribution.
In an organized manner, fully discuss the issues raised by these facts and propose a detailed distribution plan for Dee’s estate. Explain who will receive what and why.