Another important consideration with life insurance beneficiary designations concerns spouses are not required to carry life insurance policies as part of their divorce settlement agreements but fail to substitute beneficiaries. For example, imagine Husband and Wife divorce in 2010. Following the divorce, Husband forgets to name a different beneficiary in his life insurance policy. Under Texas law, if Husband forgets to change his life insurance beneficiary designation, his former wife probably … [Read more...] about Divorce and Estate Planning for Texans: Part 3 of 3
In Texas, divorcing couples should consider how their divorce settlement agreements may affect their future estate planning rights. Family laws and probate laws overlap in many situations. In Texas, a surviving spouse has a right to certain community property and non-community property, including a homestead right to a life estate. If a divorce property settlement agreement contemplates otherwise, does a former spouse with a life estate right still have the legal right to live in the former … [Read more...] about Divorce and Estate Planning for Texans: Part 2 of 3
Another important consideration with life insurance beneficiary designations concerns spouses who are not required to carry life insurance policies as part of their divorce settlement agreements but fail to substitute beneficiaries. For example, imagine husband and wife divorce in 2010. Following the divorce, husband forgets to name a different beneficiary in his life insurance policy. Under Texas law, if Husband forgets to change his life insurance beneficiary designation, his former wife … [Read more...] about Divorce and Estate Planning for Texans: Part 1 of 3
Estate planning not only distributes your property and eases the burden of your passing on your loved ones, but it can also pass along your value system to your beneficiaries as well. How? Not only can you leave a legacy of your actions, since those certainly speak louder than words, but you can incorporate those values in your estate plan itself. There are estate planning tools that can be used to pass on your values. Many of these methods involve creating a trust, which allows you more … [Read more...] about Estate Planning to Reflect Your Values
If you choose to go it alone in estate planning, you run the risk of making at least one of these estate-planning mistakes: Naming your estate as a beneficiary When it comes to life insurance, qualified retirement plans and annuities, you can name one or more persons to be the recipients of the death benefit. That way you can bypass estate administration and probate court. But many people name their estate as a beneficiary, perhaps thinking that they will sort it all out later and then change … [Read more...] about DIY Estate Planning Mistakes
A common phrase used in estate planning is the ‘rights of survivorship,’ particularly when it comes to owning real estate. But do you know what this phrase actually means in plain English? The ‘rights of survivorship’ is the ownership of property by two or more people in which the survivors automatically gain ownership of another’s interest upon their death. In the case of more than one survivor, the decendent's share is divided among the survivors. For example – Harry and Sally are married … [Read more...] about Estate Planning and the Rights of Survivorship
Community property is one form of joint ownership of assets. Unlike other forms of joint ownership, like holding property as “Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship”, community property applies only to married couples. Not all states recognize community property, but Texas is one of the states that does. Community Property and Separate Property So, if you’re married and live in Texas, the property you own can generally be divided into community property or separate property. Assets that … [Read more...] about What is Community Property?
As a rule, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your property when you pass away. Whatever instructions are left in your will are supposed to control where your assets go, right? Well, not necessarily. There are some pretty big exceptions to this general rule, and one of them has to do with the property your spouse is entitled to after your death. There’s no state in which you can completely and totally disinherit your spouse, unless of course, he or she agrees in writing in the form … [Read more...] about Can I Disinherit My Spouse?