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Recent Blog Posts

What You Need to Know About Powers of Attorney in Texas

 Posted on November 21, 2022 in Estate Planning

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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Can a No-Contest Clause Prevent My Will from Being Contested?

 Posted on November 07, 2022 in Estate Planning

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.

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Understanding Transfer on Death Deeds in Texas

 Posted on October 18, 2022 in Estate Planning

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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Common Types of Business Owner or Partner Disputes and How to Resolve Them

 Posted on October 11, 2022 in Business Formation

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.

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How a Single Provision in Your Will Can Protect a Loved One With Special Needs

 Posted on September 28, 2022 in Estate Planning

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

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When to Think About Naming a New Executor for Your Estate

 Posted on September 17, 2022 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerA last will and testament is often the basis for a comprehensive estate plan. You probably realize that your will can include a number of provisions to distribute your assets to those you have chosen as your heirs, and you can make arrangements regarding how your minor children will be cared for in your will as well. However, one of the most important parts of your will is the selection of a person or entity to serve as your executor. Under Texas law, your estate’s executor is in charge of managing your estate and making sure that your wishes regarding your assets and property are followed.

Once you have chosen an executor, however, your work in this regard is not necessarily done, especially as more time passes after the establishment of your will. There are a few situations in which you might consider someone else to serve as your executor - here are just a few. 

Major Life Changes

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How to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Estate Planning

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Uncategorized

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerEveryone can benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan in place. In addition to giving a person and their family the peace of mind that their final wishes will be fulfilled, estate planning offers the opportunity for someone to examine their financial needs and assets in order to plan for the future. An estate plan usually includes a last will and testament and can also include a living trust, power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, instructions concerning life insurance, a business succession plan, and more.

At our firm, we have helped hundreds of clients create estate plans with varying degrees of complexity. We have also received many questions from individuals wondering how to approach the topic of estate planning with their aging parents. It is not always easy to initiate such discussions, but doing so is important for the security of your family.

Intestate Succession

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The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning

 Posted on July 21, 2022 in Uncategorized

fort worth estate planning lawyerIf you have begun thinking about creating an estate plan, there is a good chance you have seen at least a few ads for self-serve estate planning or will creation services. When you first see the advertisements, it is easy to believe that such services will save you money, time, and stress. The ads might even outright claim that you do not need an attorney to develop your estate plan.

The bad news is that online document generators and DIY estate planning services lead many people into serious mistakes. These mistakes can cost a great deal in lost money, time, and frustration not only for the creators of the estate plan but also for the loved ones they leave behind.

Why You Need a Lawyer

There is no law in Texas that says you must work with an attorney to create an estate plan. However, DIY estate planning services try to “help” as many people as possible by being a “one-size-fits-most” approach. A DIY site might offer basic estate planning documents such as wills, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives. Unfortunately, the basics are often insufficient to properly address your needs. When you work with a qualified lawyer, your attorney will help you explore all of your options—including lesser-known and more complicated instruments—so that you can make the best possible decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

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Understanding ADA Guidelines as a New Business Owner

 Posted on July 11, 2022 in Uncategorized

fort-worth-business-formation-attorney.jpgIn 1990, the U.S. Congress passed a historic bill into law that would forever change business: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law effectively enforces the civil rights and needs of people with disabilities. Before this law was passed, horror stories existed of inaccessible mobility for those bound to wheelchairs. Unfortunately, some people were forced to get out of their wheelchairs and crawl up stairs to schoolhouses and courtrooms. Buses also used to be inaccessible because there were no lifts available. Furthermore, grocery shopping was nearly impossible without someone tagging along to assist, as shelves were stocked to the ceiling. 

Since the passing of the ADA, life has become a bit easier for disabled customers and employees, and business owners are often happy to comply with ADA guidelines. However, sometimes new businesses may not realize the extent of the Americans with Disabilities Act policies and have trouble conforming.

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Business Contract Litigation: Remedies for Breach of Contract

 Posted on June 22, 2022 in Uncategorized

tarrant-county-business-litigation-lawyer.jpgContracts play an important role in a business’s ability to operate successfully. When a business makes a deal with a vendor, a client, its employees, or other parties, everyone who signs the agreement is expected to hold up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, there are many cases where contract breaches occur, such as when a company fails to complete work on time after receiving payment. While it may sometimes be possible to resolve disagreements about contracts through communication or negotiation, a party that suffered losses because of a breach of contract may pursue litigation to address these issues. In these situations, it is important to understand the orders that may be made by a court to correct the breach.

Common Remedies in Breach of Contract Cases

To succeed in contract litigation, one party to a contract will need to meet certain requirements, including demonstrating that the contract was legally valid, that the other party failed to meet some or all of their requirements, and that they suffered losses or other damages as a result of the breach. If a plaintiff can prove all of these elements, the court may impose certain penalties or requirements on the party that breached the contract (the defendant).

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