Everyone needs a Will. Even if you do not have a significant financial portfolio, you should have a Will. In fact, a Will might be even more important for people with fewer financial resources. Wealthy people can use all sorts of advanced estate planning tools, but people with more limited resources generally can only use a Will. A Will is your chance to tell people what should happen to the property that you have after you pass away. Even if you do not have any financial assets, you need a … [Read more...] about Poor People Need Wills Too
Creating a will
Another disadvantage of dying without a validly created will is that Texas law treats a lifetime gift only as a gift and not as an advancement of a future bequest. For example, if you intended to count a niece’s car as a gift against her future inheritance, you need to state such in your will. If you do not create a will, the Texas Probate Code treats the gifted car as a gift and not as an advance. This can become a problem if you intended to give your children equal shares of your assets but … [Read more...] about Drawbacks of Dying Intestate or Without a Will: Part 3 of 3
Each state’s intestacy laws will establish what happens to your property if you die without a will. In Texas, the Texas Probate Code governs who receives your property and the order of priority in those distributions. The Texas Probate Code establishes an order of intestate succession or distribution scheme for residents who died before and after Sept. 1, 1993. After Sept. 1, 1993, the beneficiaries of your property depend on their degree of kinship to you. The Texas Probate Code automatically … [Read more...] about Drawbacks of Dying Intestate or Without a Will: Part 1 of 3
If you read the last two posts in this series, you now know that oral or nuncupative wills may be effective to transfer your testamentary property only in limited circumstances. If a Texas probate court denies your oral will into probate, you are subject to the state’s intestacy laws created for those who die without valid wills. If you die without a written will in Texas, you may be unintentionally diminishing the assets within your estate and delaying the probate process. Call our office to … [Read more...] about Nuncupative or Oral Wills in Texas: Part 3 of 3
When you create a nuncupative or oral will in Texas, you can only do so if you are very ill and devising personal property. Real property bequests by oral will are not valid. Furthermore, you must make your oral or nuncupative before at least three witnesses if you devise more than $30 of personal property. Your witnesses (or witness if devising less than $30) must probate your oral will within six months of your death. After six months, an oral will is invalid and ineligible for probate. Since … [Read more...] about Nuncupative or Oral Wills in Texas: Part 2 of 3
An oral will is a nuncupative will. In many states, nuncupative wills are invalid or strictly construed. Typically, in states that acknowledge oral or nuncupative wills, testators must create them as their final acts before death. Commonly known as a dying deathbed exception to the typical requirement that a will is valid only if in writing, oral wills may be valid in Texas. Texas law limits the use of nuncupative wills to those who are dying on their deathbeds or at war. In Texas, a nuncupative … [Read more...] about Nuncupative or Oral Wills in Texas: Part 1 of 3
Life can turn on a dime without any warning, and things can rapidly change without you even realizing it is happening. One day you could be just fine and loving life, and the next day you could be lying in a hospital bed clinging to life. Yes, it can happen that fast – even faster in some situations! What do you do, though? While you can’t prevent things from happening because it is, after all, unexpected – you can put some plans into place. Incapacity planning, believe it or not, is an … [Read more...] about Why is Incapacity Planning Important?
Are you aware of estate litigation traps? Chances are, like most people, you do not. Because people whom are not involved with law practices may fall into these traps, it is important to work with an estate planning lawyer experienced with estate litigation. The more experienced your estate planning lawyer is with the process of estate litigation, the least likely your estate is to fall upon these issues. There are many facets to the estate planning process ranging from complex to … [Read more...] about Avoid Estate Litigation
There are a large number of estate planning tools your estate planning lawyer is experienced with, and understands that you are not. Because there are so many options to explore and tools to put into place, it will be necessary to meet with your estate planning lawyer regularly until everything is complete. Even then, meetings will follow regularly in order to keep all the documents up to date. Often times, people believe they only have to worry about their estate plan during the planning … [Read more...] about Put the Proper Estate Plan Tools Into Place
Choosing your estate’s executor is one of the most important decisions you make during the estate planning process, since this will be the person who will administer your estate when you die. The executor becomes the actual manager of your property during probate, which is the legal process that settles your estate – but at what point will they distribute your property to those you named in your will? During the period of estate administration, the property belongs to the executor and is … [Read more...] about When Does a Beneficiary Receive Their Inheritance?