GOV – Memorandum of Law: Wills and Trusts

Kevin Whalling, Chief Counsel for the Whalling Law Group, PLLC, has been hired to represent Able in a pending lawsuit over the division of an Arizona estate.

The following information has been gathered regarding the estate:

Mary was a widow with two adult children, Cain and Able.

In 2010, Mary bought Edison stock. She then sat at her computer and typed the following: This is my will. I leave the house to Cain and my stock to Able. The rest, they can split. Mary printed two copies of the document. She signed and dated both copies in the presence of her best friend, Magdalene, and her neighbor, Jobe. Magdalene had been fully advised of the contents and signed both copies. Although Jobe had no idea as to the bequests, he declared that he was honored to be a witness and signed his name under Mary’s and Magdalene’s signatures on both copies. Mary placed one copy in her safe deposit box and kept the other at the house.

In 2014, Mary married Joe. She soon decided to prepare a new will. She deleted the old document from her computer and tore up one copy. She forgot, however, about the other copy in her safe deposit box.

On her corporate stationery with her business logo emblazoned on it, Mary wrote: I leave Joe my Edison stock. Cain is to get the house.

Mary signed the document. She neither dated the document nor designated a recipient for her remaining property. The document was not witnessed.

In 2015, Mary sold her Edison stock and used the proceeds to buy Electro stock. In 2016, Mary died, survived by Joe, Cain, and Able. Mary, Joe, Cain and Able all resided within the State of Arizona for their entire lives. Mary’s estate consists of Electro stock, her house, and $200,000 in cash in a separate trust account.

Mr. Whalling requests that you prepare a memorandum of law wherein you explain basic legal principles related to wills and trusts such as creation of a will and a trust and general rules concerning how they may be executed (distribution of assets under both a will and a trust). Further, Mr. Whalling asks you to apply wills and trusts principles to the distribution of Mary’s assets to determine what interests in the estate Joe, Cain and Able may have.

Remember that this is an internal memorandum for Mr. Whalling; while his job is ultimately to support Able, you can provide an objective analysis.

Use the “Topic 6 Memorandum of Law” template to write a memorandum of 750 to 1,000 words. Follow the prompts within brackets in the template to complete the assignment. Be sure to cite three to five relevant scholarly sources in support of your content. Use only sources found at the GCU Library, government/legal websites, or those provided in Topic Materials.

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