Part II essay question



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PART II – ESSAY QUESTION
SUGGESTED TIME – 120 MINUTES

Tim Taylor is a recovered alcoholic, residing in Westwood, California. Tim was able to fight through his problems and became a successful real estate developer. Tim is divorced and has two children, namely: Judy, (age 20), and Jack, (age 18). Tim’s current live-in girlfriend, Nancy, is an Alcoholics Anonymous” Group Counselor he met during rehabilitation. She has one daughter from a prior marriage by name of Sherry, (age 5).

On April 4, 2002, Tim executed a valid Will at his attorney’s office, (Jason Butler), which reads as follows:
“1. I hereby give my cabin in Big Bear, California, and $100,000.00, to my girlfriend, Nancy.

2. I hereby give my residence, in Trust, to the Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter in Westwood, California, to be used as a half-way house for recovering alcoholics. I designate Northern Trust Bank as Trustee. The Trustee shall have all of the Trustee powers set forth in the California Probate Code at their disposal to properly manage the Trust property.

3. I hereby give my condominium, located at 200 Fifth Street, in Santa Monica, California, to my brother, Earl.

4. I hereby give the rest and residue of my estate as follows:

a. One-half thereof, to my daughter, Judy;

b. One-half thereof, to my son, J ack.

I hereby appoint my brother Ernie, as Executor of my Will to serve without bond.”
After executing the Will, attorney Butler kept the original and gave Tim a copy for his file. At the time of Will execution, Tim’s estate consisted of the following assets:

1. His residence located at 2020 Westwood Boulevard, Westwood, California.

2. A cabin in Big Bear, California, owned in joint tenancy with his brother, Ernie.

3. A condominium located at 200 Fifth Street, Santa Monica, California.

4. Three Hundred Thousand Dollars, ($300,000.00), in cash accounts located at Bank of America and Wells Fargo, both bank branches in Westwood, California.
On his way home from work one night, Tim passed by his daughter’s college sorority house. It was a typical Friday “party night”, but unfortunately, he spotted his daughter on the balcony, drunk as could be, waiving her bra in the air. Totally disgusted, Tim went to the nearest Starbucks, and handwrote and signed the following letter:

“Dear Jason: Please cancel my daughter’s gift in the Will and give it to Nancy’s daughter, Sherry. I am going on a business trip, and when I return will sign whatever legal document is needed.

8/4/03

s/ TIM TAYLOR”


Tim then proceeded to then drop off the letter at his attorney’s office.
On Monday, 8/7/03, attorney Butler read the letter and immediately retrieved Tim’s original Will from the safe. He then crossed out the gift to Judy, initialed the change, and thereafter prepared a Codicil for Tim to sign, giving the one-half interest in the residue to Sherry.
Upon returning from the business trip, Tim unfortunately “fell off the wagon” and started drinking again. This led to confrontations with his children and vitriolic arguments with Nancy; which escalated to violence. On November 4, 2003, one such argument ensued, during which time Nancy grabbed a golf club and delivered a fatal blow to Tim’s head.
At the time of Tim’s death, his estate consisted of the following assets:

1. His residence located at 3700 Camden Place, Long Beach, California, (his residence in Westwood was sold in August, 2003).

2. His cabin in Big Bear, California.

3. A Promissory Note in the amount of $500,000, which represents the balance of the purchase price for the condominium in Santa Monica, which was sold in September, 2003, for $800,000.

4. Cash in the total amount of $600,000, comprised of his original cash funds plus the $300,000 down payment received for the sale of the condominium.
You are a third year associate at the Law Firm of Smith & Wesson. You have met with Ernie, the named Executor who has provided you with the following information:

A. Nancy confessed and has been convicted of second degree murder.

B. There is no longer a Westwood Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. The facility which housed this chapter has now been taken over by a private abortion clinic. There is, however, a large Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter in downtown, Los Angeles.

C. The following documents were located by Ernie for use in the probate proceedings:

i. Tim Taylor’s original Will;

ii. An unsigned Codicil to the Will prepared by attorney Jason Butler;

iii. Tim’s copy of the Will which had the gift to Judy crossed out, and below it, in Tim’s handwriting, was the following notation:

“The gift above to my daughter is revoked in favor of Sherry.



8/14/03 s/TIM TAYLOR”
PLEASE PREPARE A MEMORANDUM FOR THE SENIOR PARTNER CONCERNING:
1. HOW SHOULD TIM TAYLOR’S ESTATE BE DISTRIBUTED?





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