Monday, September 29, 2008
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. ~William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, 1918
Also from an article in the May edition of the ABA Journal on the new book by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner "Making Your Case, The Art of Persuading Judges"
Value clarity above all and make your points and ask for relief in a blunt, straightforward manner.
The undersigned counsel do hereby for and on behalf of their clients, for the reasons explained hereinbelow, respectfully request that this Honorable Court consider and hereby rule that no issues of material fact do exist in the instant controversy, and that a final judgment be entered in favor of the client of the undersigned counsel (sometimes herein referred to as “Defendant” or “Cross-Plaintiff”) and against Plaintiff.
Johnson requests entry of summary judgment.
Clarity is amply justified on the ground that it ensures you’ll be understood. If your arguments are clear it will be harder for your opponent to mischaracterize them.
Whereas this seems to make lots of sense, I heretofore and hereinafter will strive to above all else be clear.
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. ~William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, 1918.
Make your points and ask for your relief in a blunt, straightforward manner.
The undersigned counsel do hereby for and on behalf of their clients, for the reasons explained herein below, respectfully request that this Honorable Court consider and hereby rule that no issues of material fact do exist in the instant controversy, and that a final judgment be entered in favor of the client of the undersigned counsel (sometimes herein referred to as “Defendant” or “Cross-Plaintiff”) and against Plaintiff.
Johnson requests entry of summary judgment
From a May 2008 ABA Journal Article on Making Your Case, The art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia and Bray A. Garner.
For estate planners the salient part Pet-lovers have engineered a quiet revolution in the law to allow nonhumans to inherit and spend money. It is becoming routine for dogs to receive cash and real estate in the form of trusts, and there is already at least one major foundation devoted to helping dogs. And they are already making plans for the Helmsleys' billings, according to Toobin.
The author asks "Is it right to give so much money to a dog - or to dogs generally? Are there limits? Will there be a time when a dog can sue for a new guardian, or to avoid being put to sleep?
Leona had contentious relationships with almost everybody except her husband Harry. Her life was a trail of bitterness, strained relationship, fired employees, etc.
Unhappy associates turned her into the IRS knowing that she had billed millions of dollars to her hotel chain company for what amounted to grand-scale renovation of her Greenwhich Connecticut mansion. She was convicted of multiple counts of tax evasion and served federal prison time.
After her release from prison, she became reclusive and when her husband died in 1997she got her Maltese dog. She never had a dog before an article source is quoted as saying and she trieated her like aperson, and took her everywhere. She would take that dog to bed with her every night." He even appeared in ads for her hotels.
In spite of her vast wealth Leona left small, controlling bequests to her realtives; Trouble's 12 million is the largest single bequest in the will. In her 2nd mission statement, she removed caring for indigents and children making her priority for her chartible trust #1 care of dogs, and then charities as determined by trustees.
Helmsley's instructions for care of the dog subsequently caused a lot of trouble for Trouble. First Helmsley wanted Trouble buried in the family mausoleum, but that is not possible under NY law. Then custody was to be given to her brother or grandson, but neither man wanted the dog. After the trust provisions were made public, the dog received death threats.
Later, an alternative custodian was found. He is paid 5000 a month, security for the dog costs a hundred thousand, grooming-eight thousand, food-twelve hundred, and the vet up to eight thousand.
Update h/t Wills Trusts and Estates Prof Blog
Manhattan Surrogate Judge Renee Roth reduced amount in the pet trust in April to $2 million with the $10 million balance passing to Leona's charitable foundation.
Monday, September 22, 2008
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ The London Telegraph has an article in todays paper "How to make sure your will is not contested"
Fay Copeland of the firm Wedlake Bell says it used to be that the only questions asked where about the validity of a will. The firm claims that will and trust disputes have trebled over the past few years. Now as people are leaving more wealth it is financially feasible to contest a will. Another factor in the rise in disputes is the more complex family structures created by a rising divorce rate. Beneficiaries are looking past what the will says and more about what they think they should have been entitled to.
The gist of the article is that writing a will or a trust may be insufficient to stop family arguments when you die.
Know what and how much you own.
Name your executors and make sure they understand the responsibility that they are taking on.
Talk to your heirs in person to explain the reasons for your decisions.
Leave a letter of intent, especially if you disinheriting or are leaving unequal bequests to your heirs.
Make sure your document is signed and witnessed properly and that the right people know where you keep it.
If you have children under 18 years of age, write a letter of wishes to your appointed guardians giving guidelines as to how the children should be raised.
Make sure to keep your will updated.