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Tarranty County estate planning lawyerThe process of estate planning can be extremely difficult for some people, as it is certainly not enjoyable to confront one’s own mortality. Of course, none of us is going to live forever, and with a comprehensive estate plan, you can provide your family and loved ones with security and peace of mind that extends well beyond your lifetime.

Some estate planning elements can be set up to take effect during your lifetime, if necessary, so that you can ensure that your affairs will be properly managed. Among these are powers of attorney, and they are often forgotten about by people who are not familiar with how they work.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf. In Texas, there are two primary types of power of attorney: general and limited. A general power of attorney gives the person you appoint (known as your "agent") broad powers to handle your affairs. A limited power of attorney, on the other hand, only gives your agent specific powers, such as the authority to sell your home or sign documents on your behalf.

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Fort Worth estate planning lawyerWhen a person dies, the loss can be extremely difficult on that person's surviving family members and friends. The intense emotions associated with such a situation can lead a grieving loved one to act uncharacteristically and even to unnecessary disputes over a variety of considerations. One common point of a contention is often the decedent's will, and a contested will can create instability within the surviving family for many years to come, if not forever. If you hope to keep such a fight from dividing your family after your death, you might consider adding a no-contest clause to your will.

Understanding No-Contest Clauses

A no-contest clause, also called an in terrorem clause, is a provision that can be added to a will that threatens to disinherit any person who contests the validity of the document. The clause essentially says that if anyone challenges the will, they automatically forfeit their inheritance or receive a very small percentage of what was originally intended for them.

While the addition of a no-contest clause may seem like an easy way to prevent family members from fighting over your estate after you are gone, it is important to understand the various pros and cons before making this decision.

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Fort Worth estate planning attorneyIf you own property in Texas, you may be wondering what a "transfer on death deed" is and how it works. The short answer is that a transfer on death deed is a relatively simple estate planning tool that allows you to pass down real estate property to a chosen beneficiary without having the property pass through the Texas probate process. This alternative to traditional probate can save time, money, and stress for everyone involved.

What Is a Transfer on Death Deed?

A transfer on death deed (TODD) is a legal document that allows you to transfer ownership of your real estate property to someone else upon your death. The TODD does not take effect until after you die, so you can change your mind at any time and revoke the deed.

In order to create a valid TODD in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old and the owner of the property in question. The deed must clearly describe the property in question and specifically identify your chosen beneficiaries. Then, it must be signed and notarized in front of two witnesses, who must also sign the deed. The TODD must then be filed with the county clerk's office where the property is located. Once the TODD is filed, it becomes a public record.

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Fort Worth business dispute lawyerBusiness disputes between owners and/or partners are not uncommon. While some disagreements can be resolved easily, others may require the help of a mediator or even legal intervention. The most important thing is to communicate openly and honestly with each other to try to reach a resolution. Below, we will discuss some of the most common types of business disputes and offer tips on how to resolve them.

1. Disagreements Over the Direction of the Business

One of the most common types of business disputes is disagreements over the direction of the business. This can happen when partners have different ideas about where the business should go or what it should do. If you find yourself in this type of dispute, it is important to try to see things from your partner's perspective and to compromise where possible. If you are unable to reach a resolution, you may need to seek outside help, such as from an attorney, mediator, or arbitrator.

2. Personal Disputes That Affect the Company

Personal disputes between partners can quickly translate into business disputes if left unresolved. Whether it is a disagreement over compensation, credit for work done, or something else entirely, personal disputes can have a significant impact on the operation of your business. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to communicate with your partner and try to resolve the issue in a way that is fair to both of you. If you are unable to reach a resolution on your own, you may need to seek outside help

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Fort Worth special needs trust attorneyHave you ever worked closely with a loved one to help them apply for government assistance programs? If you have, you undoubtedly noticed that a large number of such programs have qualifying criteria that include limits on personal assets and income. Such requirements were generally put in place to ensure that the programs in question served those with the greatest need, but these limits have had unintended consequences for many families.

A good example of this is when a person who receives benefits through Medicaid, Social Security, and other income-limited programs is named as a beneficiary in another person’s will. It may come as a surprise to learn that a one-time transfer of assets—as is usually the case with an inheritance—could have a negative effect on the beneficiary’s continued eligibility for the government benefits on which they might have come to rely.

A Quick Look at Government Aid Programs

Government-funded aid programs are nearly everywhere today, and many have been serving citizens for decades. Some of them even trace all the way to the “New Deal” from the 1930s—the government-led effort to aid in recovery from the Great Depression. If you pay any attention to politics, you know that these types of programs are often debated, as lawmakers have trouble agreeing about their funding and future. It is almost impossible to deny, however, that government benefits are highly useful for people who truly need medical care and financial assistance.

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1227 W. Magnolia Avenue, Suite 520
Fort Worth, TX 76104

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