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Recent Blog Posts

When Should You Choose an Advance Medical Directive?

 Posted on February 26, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerYour advance medical directive plan goes into effect only when you can no longer make decisions for yourself due to illness or injury. Determining when to create an advance directive depends on your individual circumstances. A Texas lawyer can help you create this legal paperwork, so you know it is handled properly. Understanding several common life stages or situations where setting up a medical directive would be ideal is helpful.

If You Are Diagnosed With a Serious Illness

Receiving a diagnosis like cancer, heart disease, or another serious health condition means that difficult treatment decisions may arise during the course of your care. Stressful hospitalizations that call for complex options could also occur. An advance directive would allow you to think through your values and priorities in a less stressful period, such as during remission, and document what types of life-prolonging care align with your wishes. Your loved ones and physicians will be prepared to honor these choices.

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What You Should Know About a Special Needs Trust

 Posted on February 14, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerIf you have a disabled family member who relies on needs-based government benefits like Medicaid or SSI, you may have heard about special needs trusts. But what exactly are they, and how can they help protect your loved one’s eligibility for public assistance programs? Knowing what to expect with a special needs trust and how it can provide value to your family is beneficial. A Texas lawyer can help you gain understanding and help you form this type of trust.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust, sometimes called a supplemental needs trust, is a legal instrument designed to hold and manage assets for a disabled beneficiary without affecting their eligibility for public benefits. The assets in the trust are used to pay for costs of living that government aid does not cover, such as specialized medical equipment, educational expenses, modifications to vehicles or housing, and more.

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What Should You Know About Contested Estates?

 Posted on January 30, 2024 in Estate Planning

TX estate lawyerWhen a person passes away, their estate goes through probate, which is a court-supervised process of distributing assets. Usually, this goes smoothly, but sometimes beneficiaries or creditors dispute the will or trust. This can lead to a contested estate where different parties battle over the deceased’s property and assets. A Texas estate planning lawyer may be able to help if you find yourself in this situation.

What Triggers Estate Disputes

Several common issues tend to spur estate contests:

  • Unequal distribution of assets that seems unfair to heirs
  • Confusion over an ambiguous will or trust
  • Suspected incapacity or undue influence on the testator
  • Discovery of newer wills or amendments

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Why Is Title Insurance So Important?

 Posted on January 15, 2024 in Alamo Title Company

TX real estate lawyerPurchasing a home is likely the largest financial investment most people will ever make. With such a major commitment on the line, buyers want assurance that the property they are buying is truly theirs—free of any undisclosed liens, debts, or other defects in the title that could present future legal or financial issues. This is where title insurance comes in. A Texas real estate lawyer can help you with the process of making sure this is done properly.

Provides Protection for Your Investment

Title insurance provides protection for real estate owners and lenders against issues in the title that occurred prior to your ownership. This could include mistakes made in public records, forgery, fraud, undisclosed heirs, and other issues that could impact your rights and ownership in the property.

If a valid claim is made against your title, the title insurance company will typically pay the legal fees to defend your title, as well as pay valid claims so you do not incur losses. This protection, which is typically a one-time fee paid during closing, gives homebuyers invaluable peace of mind that their investment is covered.

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Choosing a Power of Attorney

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Estate Planning

TX estate planning lawyerSetting up a financial and healthcare power of attorney (POA) while you are still legally competent allows you to appoint trusted individuals to manage your affairs if injury, aging, or illness affects your independence. It is important to understand the planning involved and the significance of choosing your POA wisely. A Texas estate planning lawyer can ensure your documents are correctly prepared for your protection.

Weigh Both Capabilities and Integrity Critically

Ideally, a power of attorney demonstrates sufficient skills to handle the responsibilities involved. These responsibilities are financial portfolio dealings, tax documentation organizing, or home maintenance contracting in areas needing to be addressed perhaps someday as health fails you. However, strong ethics and integrity ensure that your advocate won’t misuse control over assets for personal gain, preventing unnoticed theft until it is too late. power of attorney (POA) corruption can severely harm vulnerable victims when greed overcomes good judgment. A smart selection process prioritizes ethical integrity over just technical skills.

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What Should I Do If My Parent's Estate Gets Contested?

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Estate Planning

TX estate planning lawyerSettling a deceased parent’s estate can be an emotionally complicated time, even under the best of circumstances. When hostilities emerge, and family members legally contest the will or trust, grieving while managing high-stakes legal affairs becomes exponentially more difficult. A Texas estate planning lawyer can help figure out how to get through this and prove there are no grounds for this.

Let the Attorney Handle It

If you are the executor of your parent’s estate and a family member or heir challenges the will, your first move is handing things off to the probate lawyer. They have the expertise in Texas inheritance law and procedures to address the legal contestation directly. Trying to manage the dispute as a non-attorney not only causes more stress, it risks procedural mistakes harming your own standing.

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Am I Too Young to Think About Estate Planning?

 Posted on November 16, 2023 in Estate Planning

TX estate planning lawyerAs you embark on the exciting journey of parenthood and envision a bright future for your family, estate planning might not be the first thing on your mind. However, it is a crucial step to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in case something unexpected happens. As a provider, having a plan in place is essential to support your dependents. If you are a young family, you will need a Texas estate planning attorney to help you with this journey.

What Are Important Considerations If I Have Children?

In the unfortunate event of your passing or that of your spouse, it is vital to designate a guardian for your child. This decision requires careful thought. Consider whether the chosen person shares your values, if your child knows them well, and if the individual has given consent. Avoid selecting someone too young or too advanced in age; aim for someone available to take on the responsibility when needed. 

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When Would It Be a Good Idea to Create a Living Will?

 Posted on November 08, 2023 in Estate Planning

TX estate lawyerCreating a living will is an essential part of your estate plan. It ensures that your healthcare preferences are respected when you are ill and cannot express your wishes. By planning ahead, you relieve your loved ones of difficult decisions during this stressful time. It is essential to start thinking about your future and what happens when you are not around. One crucial aspect of this estate planning is the creation of a living will. A Texas estate planning attorney should be able to help you with the process.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that outlines your healthcare and medical treatment wishes, primarily when you are unable to communicate or make decisions due to illness or injury. In Texas, an advance directive for physicians is the standard form. To make it valid, you need to sign it in the presence of two witnesses. Its terms come into effect only when you become incapacitated.

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What Can I Do If I Do Not Agree with My Loved One’s Will?

 Posted on October 26, 2023 in Estate Planning

TX estate lawyerIf a family member has died and you expected an inheritance, but surprisingly you were not mentioned in the will, you may be wondering what you can do. After a loved one passes away, families often grapple with a web of legal and financial complexities. When disagreements arise among beneficiaries or potential heirs regarding the validity of a will, the situation becomes even more challenging. You need a Texas attorney well-versed in contested estates. There may be a need for probate litigation, and both executors and beneficiaries must understand their rights in these cases. 

How Do I Know a Will Is Legitimate?

In Texas, a testator refers to an individual who has created and executed a legally valid last will and testament. The testator is the person who makes specific decisions regarding the distribution of their assets, property, and belongings after their death. To be considered a valid testator in Texas, the individual must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old, or an emancipated minor. The will must be executed in accordance with the state's legal requirements, which typically involve the testator signing the document in the presence of at least two credible witnesses. The testator's will is a legally binding document that outlines their wishes and instructions for the distribution of their estate, and the appointment of executors or guardians.

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If I Have a Trust, Can My Beneficiaries Skip the Probate Process?

 Posted on October 05, 2023 in Estate Planning

TX estate planning lawyerWhen you pass away, your money and your belongings can smoothly go to a family member if you have a trust. But without this special arrangement, your loved ones may have to deal with a probate process which can be lengthy and costly. That is a formal court administration of your estate after your death. However, it would be an essential step in order to pass your property on to your beneficiaries. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the advantages of setting up a trust and how a Texas probate attorney can help your family members avoid probate.

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