Legal Blog

Legalese Explained: Caduca

Some of the more eagle-eyed of you may have noticed that I have been out of the office for the last few weeks. There were a lot of things I had to do before heading out on medical leave. Clients were alerted, files were handed off to my partners at Offit Kurman, I added an out-of-office reply to my email… and I (finally) updated some of my estate planning documents. Yep, just like the rest of the world, lawyers don’t like contemplating their own death.

One of the unfortunate things I have seen in my practice is that many small businesses do not have plans in place for when the owner can no longer run the business. Being the chief cook and bottle washer is hard enough when you are healthy and fully functional, but when you are waylaid by your health, your business can grind to a halt. It is such a big problem for small law firms, that last year the Maryland State Bar Association put on a one-day seminar on the topic. Alongside other professionals, I taught one of the business minded components. In my practice, I have helped law firms and other small businesses come up with their business succession plans. Sometimes, that means working with the Estate Planning Group here at Offit Kurman to come up with a business plan that works in tangent with the client’s personal plan.

Which leads me to the word of the week: Caduca.

In the civil law. Property of an inheritable quality; property such as descends to an heir. Also the lapse of a testamentary disposition or legacy. Also an escheat; escheated property. Bl. Law Dict.(2d Ed.)11. Essentially, caduca is the stuff you want to (and can) leave to your family after you die. Ironically, caduca is the feminine form of the Italian word caduco, which means transient or fleeting. The legal phrase refers to things that outlive you, the Italian word (or way) to say  things that are temporary. As they say, you can’t take it with you when you’re dead.


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Ms. Longaker’s primary areas of concentration include general corporate advising, administrative hearings, and state and federal appellate litigation. She advises start-ups and small businesses during all stages of the business’s life-cycle. She regularly drafts organizational documents, reviews commercial leases, negotiates franchising agreements, and assists with the sale of corporate entities. Ms. Longaker represents many businesses that require liquor licenses, including restaurants, package goods stores, agricultural producers, and manufacturers. She represents clients before county agencies in their applications for new licenses, transfers of existing licenses, or defense of challenged licenses. She also handles land use and zoning matters, real property transactions, and homeowners’ association matters.







Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the mid-Atlantic region. With over 185 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients along the I95 corridor in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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