Recent Blog Posts

What Elderly People Need to Consider When Creating or Updating a Will

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in Uncategorized

tarrant-county-estate-planning-attorney.jpgA last will and testament is one of the foundational elements of a comprehensive estate plan. A person’s will details decisions about how the property they own should be passed to their heirs after their death. Seniors who are entering their twilight years will often be looking to make plans for how to address different assets they own, distribute property to their loved ones, and ensure that their wishes will be followed after their death. When creating a will or making changes to a will that had previously been created, a person will need to make sure to understand the legal issues that they may need to address.

Key Considerations in a Last Will and Testament

It is important to understand how different types of property will be considered during the probate and estate administration process. Seniors will need to take a complete inventory of their assets and debts before they will be able to make decisions about how the distribution of their property will be handled. Some different types of assets to consider include:

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Incapacity Planning: Creating a Medical Power of Attorney

 Posted on May 19, 2022 in Uncategorized

fort-worth-estate-planning-lawyer.jpgIn many cases, estate planning is focused on making decisions about what should happen after a person’s death. While this is an important issue to address, a family may also need to consider issues related to a person’s medical treatment and personal needs as they reach an advanced age. This aspect of estate planning is known as incapacity planning, since it will address how decisions will be made in any situations where a person becomes incapacitated, meaning that they cannot make decisions for themselves or cannot express their wishes to others. One of the key tools used for incapacity planning is a medical power of attorney.

Addressing Health Issues Through a Power of Attorney

In a power of attorney agreement, a person will name someone who will be allowed to make decisions for them. This person is known as their agent. When creating a power of attorney, a person will want to choose a person they trust to serve as their agent, such as an immediate family member or a close friend. 

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Should I Establish Guardianship for My Elderly Loved One?

 Posted on May 06, 2022 in Uncategorized

tarrant-county-estate-planning-lawyer.jpgA family may need to address multiple issues related to the needs of a person as they get older. Seniors can sometimes struggle to handle concerns related to their health, their finances, and their day-to-day needs. In these situations, other family members will often be able to step in, offer assistance, or even provide a home and round-the-clock care to address medical and personal concerns. When doing so, a person may be unsure about the best steps to take to ensure that they will have the right to make decisions on behalf of their loved one. By consulting with an attorney who can provide guidance in matters related to estate planning and elder law, a family can determine whether establishing guardianship may be the right choice in their situation.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Guardianship

Texas law allows a person to be named as someone’s legal guardian, which will give them the right to make certain decisions, as well as the responsibility to act in the best interests of the ward and provide for their ongoing needs. To establish guardianship, a person will need to file a petition in court, and their request will typically only be granted if there is evidence that the proposed ward is incapacitated, meaning that they are unable to fully provide for their own personal, medical, or financial needs. An examination by a doctor may be required to determine the person’s mental state and physical abilities, and a court hearing will be held where a judge will decide whether guardianship is necessary.

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Can Mediation Be Used to Resolve Business Contract Disputes?

 Posted on April 25, 2022 in Uncategorized

fort-worth-business-dispute-lawyer.jpgWhile business contracts can be crucial for protecting the interests of a company and other parties, there are a variety of situations where business owners may need to determine how to address a breach of contract. For example, a service provider may not have fully provided the services described in a contract within the correct time frame, or a former employee may have violated the terms of a non-compete agreement. In these cases, a business may seek to enforce the terms of a contract or pursue compensation for financial losses that occurred because of a breach of contract. While these issues may be addressed through litigation in court, the parties involved may benefit by using other methods to negotiate a settlement. Mediation can be a beneficial way of resolving contract disputes, and it will often allow the parties to reach agreements and settle disputes much more quickly and efficiently.

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What Are the Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?

 Posted on April 07, 2022 in Uncategorized

fort-worth-revocable-living-trust.jpgDuring the estate planning process, a person or family may use multiple tools to determine how different types of assets will be handled both during a person’s life and after their death. Trusts are some of the most powerful and flexible tools that are available, and they can be used to preserve and protect assets and ensure that they are used correctly to provide for the needs of a person and their loved ones. Revocable living trusts are some of the most commonly-used types of trusts, and they can provide a family with multiple benefits.

Advantages of Revocable Living Trusts

When a person creates a trust, they will transfer certain assets to the trust and provide instructions for how these assets should be distributed to different beneficiaries. The trust itself will own the assets, and this can provide some protection, since the assets will no longer be part of the person’s estate. A trust involves three parties: the person who created the trust (known as the grantor or settlor), the person who will manage the assets in the trust (known as the trustee), and one or more beneficiaries who will receive distributions of assets in the trust.

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Do I Need a Living Will in My Texas Estate Plan?

 Posted on March 17, 2022 in Uncategorized

shutterstock_97178681.jpgDuring the estate planning process, you will make a variety of decisions about how matters will be handled after your death. In addition to addressing ownership of your property or other related issues, it is also important to consider how you will be able to meet your needs throughout the rest of your life. Along with decisions related to your finances, you will also want to make sure your medical and personal care will be provided for. It can be especially important to address situations where you may become terminally ill, and if you cannot make your wishes known, you will want to ensure that you receive the proper care and end-of-life medical treatment. You can address these situations by creating a living will, which is one of the most important ancillary documents that may be included in your estate plan.

Requirements for Living Wills in Texas

A living will covers situations where you will be unable to make decisions about your medical care because of an illness or injury. The Texas Health and Safety Code details a standard form that may be used for a “Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates,” although you may also create a document that is customized to your unique needs. Your living will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses before it will become valid, and its terms will only go into effect if you become incapacitated in the future and cannot make your wishes known.

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Facts about power of attorney in Texas

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

There are many things that you have to consider when estate planning. One of them is the fact that you can become incapacitated at any time, so you need to have a plan in place for who will make decisions on your behalf. This is where the power of attorney comes in. Read on to learn more about this important estate planning tool.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document in estate planning that allows you to appoint someone else to make decisions on your behalf. Power of attorney is often used for financial matters, medical decisions or both. It may be limited to specific tasks, such as making decisions about your health care or handling your finances.

What are the benefits of a power of attorney?

The agent you appoint will be able to manage your assets, pay bills and file taxes as necessary. It can also help reduce stress on family members who may not live nearby or who might get overwhelmed with other responsibilities at the time that you need them most.

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Everything you need to know about probate

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

In Texas, probate is a necessary estate administration process that ensures that estate plans get executed properly. Sometimes, it is necessary when somebody dies with assets and there are issues or doubts surrounding the executor, the will or the estate itself. If you’ve been asking yourself certain questions about probate, keep reading.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of estate administration that occurs when there are disputes among heirs or creditors regarding the estate, its executor and the distribution process. The purpose of the probate process is to check the validity of a will and to ensure that estate plans are properly executed by the right person.

How does probate work?

The executor of an estate files all required documents with the local courthouse for review by the estate judge. If approved, an estate inventory is then created and creditors get notified. All assets of the estate are then identified along with any debts before the heirs or beneficiaries receive anything. The estate is then divided among the heirs in accordance with the estate plan.

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What to do about digital assets in your estate plan

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

If you live in Texas and you are creating an estate plan, you should also give some thought to your digital assets. You do not need to own cryptocurrency or a valuable domain in order to have digital assets that need to be addressed. Your digital life includes your social media accounts, your digital photos, and your emails as well as any online accounts and other things you own that are digitized. You may also have hybrid assets, such as an account with a brick-and-mortar bank that you can access online.

What to do

The first step should be making a list of all your assets along with any important information about them, such as passwords and account numbers. As is the case with any other type of property, you then need to decide which of your beneficiaries will get your digital assets. Like most other states, Texas has a version of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which allows the people you designate to access your accounts.

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Include provisions for incapacitation in your estate plan

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

For many high-worth individuals in Texas, determining how to leave your wealth to your beneficiaries can be complicated. One aspect that people tend to overlook is planning for incapacitation should you become ill and unable to make decisions for yourself. Planning for incapacitation is just as important as the other aspects of managing your estate.

Steps in Planning for Incapacitation

You may think that a will or a trust are the only documents you need for estate planning purposes. However, those documents won’t help you in the present if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. You’ll want to ensure that care for dependents and the orderly management of your wealth occurs if you are incapacitated for any reason and unable to make decisions. You should also stipulate end-of-life wishes if you end up in a vegetative state.

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