Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Definition of the Week: Grantor

Grantor: A grantor is a person "granting" or transferring assets to a trust. Some practitioners and state statutes use the word "settlor" or "trustor" or "maker" or "creator." At Hughes Estate Group, we use the word used by the Internal Revenue Service, the tax courts, and most state courts: "grantor."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Joke of the Week

An elderly couple is lying in bed one morning having just awakened from a good night's sleep. He takes her hand and she responds, "Don't touch me!"

"Why not," he says.

She answers back, "Because I'm dead."

The husband says to her, "What on earth are you talking about? We're both lying here in bed together and talking to one another."

The wife says, "Not so, I'm definitely dead."

Her husband insists, "You're not dead. What in the world makes you think you are dead?"

His wife answers, "I know I'm dead because I woke up this morning and nothing hurts."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Second Marriage And Children Of The First Marriage Fight With Murder Thrown In

Judge Patrick Maqubela, acting judge in the Western Cape High Court, was suffocated June 5, 2009 in his Bantry Bay flat. He wife of his second marriage, Thandi Maqubela, has been accused of co-conspiring to kill him.

At the time of his death, Thandi Maqubela declared her husband had died intestate or without a testamentary document in place. Later, she declared that she had found his will. The difference between how Mr. Maqubela's R20m estate would be distributed by the laws of intestate versus by a will it hugh.

According to the intestate laws of South Gauteng, Thandi Maqubela would receive half the estate and Mr. Maqubela's five children would receive the other half to be divided in five equal shares. With the will, the two children from Mr. Maqubela's first marriage are completely cut out of the will and Thandi Maqubela's daughter from a previous marriage is named a beneficiary. Mr. Maqubela's son from his first marriage, Duma, is contesting the validity of the will saying that he cannot believe his father would disinherit him and his sister, Patiwe.

A full article reporting on the situation can be read here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Definition of the Week: Trustee

Trustee: The trustee is the person who manages and distributes trust assets for the benefit of beneficiaries.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Unique Coffins Seen Around The World

I read a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that mentioned the kinds of coffins being made now-a-days for people to be buried in. The article explores the human rituals that attend death and what people sometimes are buried in. To quote one paragraph, "We bury our loved ones in the ground. We burn them in fire. In some cultures, we leave corpses as carrion, inviting the birds to pick the bones dry. In others, we hang the dead in trees or stow them in caves. In naval circles, we consign them to the ocean." The article mentions an airplane coffin made for a grandmother who never had a chance to fly in an airplane. It really is a fun article to read. The full article can be found here.