Although a Last Will and Testament is usually the foundation of a comprehensive estate plan, most plans include a variety of documents in addition to a Will. One of the more common additions to a thorough estate plan is a trust. A question that frequently comes up –typically from a beneficiary – is “Can you contest a trust?” The simple answer is that yes, a trust in Houston Texas can be contested. A trust is a legal entity that requires four elements for creation --- a trustor, a trustee, a … [Read more...] about Can Someone Contest a Trust in Houston Texas?
Blended families have become the norm in America. While blending families may be the norm these days it doesn’t mean that they blend easily. Often, it takes a significant amount of work and patience to create a harmonious blended family. Along with all of the work it takes to make your new family work, be sure that you also make changes to your estate plan that reflect your new blended family. For starters, review all of your old life insurance policies, retirement accounts and financial … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Changes for a Blended Family
A comprehensive estate plan typically encompasses much more than just a Last Will and Testament. For most people, it also includes things such as a life insurance policy, investment plans, trusts and even documents that you may not think of as estate planning documents like titles to property. Ideally, all of these documents will be coordinated; however, the world doesn’t always operate under ideal circumstances. Sometimes, two or more estate planning documents conflict. Imagine, for … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Documents – Which One Controls in a Conflict?
No matter your age, you likely know the name “James Brown”. Known as the Godfather of Soul, Brown died back in 2006, yet his estate was just recently settled by the South Carolina Supreme Court after a six year long battle. As is often the case, the rest of us can learn something from the probate litigation that followed Browns’ death. Brown left behind a sizeable estate—the majority of which was left to a charity according to his estate plan. Brown established a charitable trust to help poor … [Read more...] about What We Can Learn from James Brown’s Estate Battle
Many people find the term “estate plan” somewhat confusing. A very large percentage of the population do not really understand what an estate plan is or what types of documents are included in an estate plan, or may believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy. The truth is that nearly everyone has some type of estate, even if that only consists of a small bank account and an automobile. Whatever you leave behind when you die is considered to be your estate; this also includes your … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Basics
A Living Trust is an estate-planning tool that can help keep many of your assets out of probate. When you fund your assets to your trust, they can be passed to the trust beneficiaries without the need of going through the probate system first. The reason that assets in your trust can pass to your heirs without going through probate is that they don’t belong to you, but to the trust you created. Fortunately, there are some assets that do not need to be funded to your trust due to the fact that … [Read more...] about Assets That You Don’t Need to Fund to Your Trust