For Young Lawyers

December, 2006

News from the Real Property, Probate and Trust Committee
of the Young Lawyers Division

by Elizabeth A. Bleakley, Chair, Young Lawyers Division, Real Property, Probate and Trust Committee


The Real Property, Probate and Trust Committee of the Young Lawyers Division has been working on an exciting new project for the past few months. Committee members have written and published four "101" practice tips articles for young lawyers. Each article is approximately two to three pages in length and encapsulates the main issues related to a particular subject. Recently published articles include the following, which can be found on the Committee's website.


Robin S. Cromer wrote Ten Tips on Will Writing . As the name suggests, the article includes practical guidance on preparing a will. Among other things, Robin recommends having the client authorize a Personal Property Memorandum in the Will, if allowed under your state law. Another good recommendation is the use of a "smart tax clause," which instructs the Personal Representative to apportion taxes based on asset value. Robin included a sample Will Questionnaire at the end of her article.


Robert A. Stout, Jr., wrote an informative article, " Commercial Leasing 101 ." Robert's article discusses the critical provisions of commercial leases, including the description of the leased premises, conduct that the tenant may engage in at the premises, assignment and subleasing. As he points out, "the task of drafting and negotiating a commercial lease can be daunting." Preparing a commercial lease involves basic real estate concepts as well as business concerns driving the transaction.


William A. Onofry's article, " Accounting for 401(k) Plans – A Young Attorney's Guide ," is about the positive and negative attributes of 401(k) plans as they affect estate planning and administration. The article provides valuable insights into issues that require the attorney's particular attention. William addresses alternative beneficiary designations for estates and trusts, multiple beneficiaries and allocations, and client intake and counseling.


Gina Matthiesen wrote a valuable article on Like-Kind Exchanges for Investment Property . A like-kind exchange is a tax-deferred exchange in which a taxpayer can defer capital gains taxes on eligible classes of real and personal property initially acquired and held for business or investment purposes. Gina's article focuses on real property exchanges.


These articles can be found on the ABA YLD Real Property, Probate and Trust website at The Committee is looking forward to producing its first monthly newsletter this month. If you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter by email, please use the link on our website to join our listserve.


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