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Recent Blog Posts

Why Ancillary Documents Are Important for Estate Planning

 Posted on June 10, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerMost people focus on creating a will or trust when it comes to estate planning. While these are undoubtedly crucial components of a comprehensive plan, they are not the only documents you should consider. Ancillary documents ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are protected. A Texas lawyer can help you understand the importance of these additional documents and how they can strengthen your estate plan.

A Durable Power of Attorney is Your Trusted Decision-maker

Imagine a scenario where you become incapacitated and unable to manage your financial affairs. Who would step in to pay your bills, handle your investments, or make important decisions on your behalf? This is where a Durable Power of Attorney comes into play. By appointing a trusted individual as your agent, you ensure that your financial matters are handled according to your wishes. This document is especially crucial for unmarried couples or those with complex financial situations.

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Potential Remedies for Contract Litigation

 Posted on May 14, 2024 in Business Formation

Fort Worth business lawyerContract disputes can turn into complex litigation. The law offers various potential remedies for those engaged in contract litigation. A Texas lawyer can help you explore the remedies available. Each case is unique, so it is important to create a unique strategy.

Compensatory Damages

The most common remedy in contract litigation is compensatory damages. These damages are intended to compensate the non-breaching party for any losses suffered due to the breach of contract. In Texas, compensatory damages can include:

  • Expectation damages: These damages aim to put the non-breaching party in the position he or she would have been in had the contract been fully performed.
  • Reliance damages: These damages provide compensation to the non-breaching party for expenses incurred in reliance on the contract.

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How to Prepare for the Probate Process

 Posted on May 07, 2024 in Probate Administration

Fort Worth probate attorneyLosing a loved one is an emotionally draining experience that no one should have to face alone. During such a difficult time, the last thing you likely want to deal with is difficult legal and financial matters. However, assets, debts, and an estate often need to be appropriately handled and distributed when someone passes away. A Texas lawyer can help ensure you go about the probate process carefully.

Locate the Will

The first step is locating the deceased’s last will and testament if one exists. This legal document outlines how the decedent wanted the estate divided and who should serve as executor. Under Texas law, if there is a valid will, the probate process follows the instructions laid out in that will. According to Texas intestate succession laws, the estate assets get distributed without a will. Carefully review any will to understand the provisions.

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Estate Planning Tips for New Parents in Texas

 Posted on April 22, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerBecoming a new parent is an exciting and transformative experience but comes with many new responsibilities. One of the most important things you can do as a new parent is to prioritize estate planning. Through an estate plan, you can ensure that your child’s future is secure and your wishes are carried out, even if the unexpected occurs. A Texas lawyer can help ensure your estate plan is legally bound to protect your family.

Appoint a Guardian for Your Child

One of the first steps in estate planning for new parents is appointing a guardian for your child. A guardian is a person designated to care for your child in the event that both parents pass away or are unable to do so. In selecting a guardian, it is important to evaluate aspects like their values, approach to parenting, and financial stability. In Texas, you can legally designate a guardian in your will or through a separate document called a “Declaration of Guardian.”

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Is There a More Beneficial Option Than a Will?

 Posted on April 12, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerYou have probably heard many people say you “need” a will. While a will is helpful, there are other legal tools that can also provide benefits to you and your loved ones. A Texas lawyer can help you discover the best legal option based on your circumstances.

The Limitations of a Will

While a will allows you to designate beneficiaries for your assets and appoint guardians for your minor children, it does not protect you from probate. Probate refers to the legal procedure of authenticating a will and allocating assets in accordance with its directives. In Texas, probate can be time-consuming and costly, often requiring court appearances and legal fees.

A will only takes effect upon your death, meaning it does not provide any benefits during your lifetime. If you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, a will cannot help manage your affairs or make medical decisions on your behalf.

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Charitable Giving in Your Estate Plan in Texas

 Posted on April 05, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerAs a resident of Texas, you can make a significant contribution to the causes that matter to you by including charitable donations in your estate plan. By incorporating philanthropy into your estate planning strategy, you support the organizations and missions that matter to you and potentially reduce your estate’s tax burden. A Texas lawyer can help you explore how you can include charitable giving in your estate plan.

Charitable Bequests in Your Will

Incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan can be easily achieved by including a charitable bequest in your will. You can specify a particular dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or a specific asset to be donated to your chosen charity upon your passing. This approach allows you to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime while ensuring that your philanthropic goals are met after you are gone.

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How to Protect Your Estate from Creditors in Texas

 Posted on March 26, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerDealing with creditors can feel like a hassle, and you may feel like it seems like a setback, especially when they start making claims against your personal assets. Thankfully, a Texas lawyer can help provide several legal strategies to protect your estate from creditors’ reach.

Homestead Exemption

One of the most powerful tools available to Texans is the homestead exemption. This law protects the unlimited value of your primary residence, including the land it sits on up to 20 acres and is used as a residential use, from forced sale by creditors. You must own and live in the home as your principal residence to qualify.

Asset Protection Trusts

Asset protection trusts (APTs) are a popular way to protect your assets from potential creditors. By transferring ownership of your property into an irrevocable trust, you effectively remove it from your personal estate, making it much harder for creditors to access. Texas allows self-settled APTs, meaning you can be the beneficiary of the trust you create.

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Guardianship vs. Conservatorship in Texas

 Posted on March 07, 2024 in Estate Planning

Fort Worth estate planning lawyerWhen it comes to protecting the interests of individuals who are unable to make decisions for themselves, Texas law provides two primary options. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct differences that are important to understand. A Texas lawyer can help you explore the details of guardianship and conservatorship and help you determine which option may be best for your situation.

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints a person (the guardian) to make decisions on behalf of another individual (the ward) who is unable to make those decisions for themselves. In Texas, guardianship can be established for minors, incapacitated adults, or persons with disabilities.

Types of Guardianship in Texas

Texas law recognizes two main types of guardianship:

  • Guardian of the Person: This kind of guardian is in charge of making choices concerning the personal care of the ward, including aspects such as accommodation, medical care, and education.

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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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