Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thoughts from my Trusts and Estates Class

I’m on call on Monday in Trusts and Estates, which means that I will have to answer any questions or problems that the professor asks of me in front of my entire class of over 100 people.  Unfortunately, this is part of law school.  It’s supposed to make us more comfortable and more efficient when talking in front of large groups of people.  

Here are some important words:
When a person dies, they are known as the ‘decedent.’  Children and grandchildren are often called the ‘descendants.’  The descendants’ relatives that came before them are often discussed, and they are known as ‘predecessors.’  If a child dies before their parent, they have ‘predeceased’ their parent.  The person who writes the will is the ‘testator,’ and if the person dies without a will, they have died ‘intestate.’

With confusing vocabulary like this, it is entirely possible to come across a sentence that says:
The intestate decedent’s descendants predeceased their predecessor.  
Try saying that three times fast!  Let’s hope I can keep my tongue unknotted in class tomorrow!

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