The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

One of the most common excuses people use to avoid estate planning is that they simply don’t have enough assets to justify the cost of creating a plan. Estate planning encompasses more than just your assets as you will name guardians for your children. However, people often have more assets than they realize. For example, how much money is tied up in your 401(k), IRA, or life insurance policy? When you meet with an Read More

What Is Ancillary Probate?

There is a need for ancillary probate when you own property outside your state of residence at the time of your death. When a Montana resident has separate property in Texas, probate must be completed in both states. Ancillary probate is required for the transfer of ownership to occur. It is important to note that this extends to any residential property. For example, you could own a second piece of real estate as a Read More

Passing Away Without A Will

Last month, we discussed the probate process when the deceased had prepared a valid will. If you need to get caught up, you can read that article here. Before we begin, it is essential to reiterate that having a will doesn’t allow you to avoid the probate process. Having it makes the process easier, but it doesn’t prevent it. After reading our last blog, we hope you understand the importance of meeting with an estate Read More

What Probate Looks Like When There Is A Will

Sometimes people do not understand how important estate planning is until they have experienced the passing of a loved one who hasn’t done any. During this emotional and stressful time in your life, you have to deal with the probate process's complexities, which could take up to a year or more. Most of the person’s assets will have to pass through probate before any of the beneficiaries have access. Here are some Read More

Why Everyone Should Have A Durable Power Of Attorney

CNBC conducted a survey and reported that 67% of Americans do not have an estate plan. The root cause of why they overlook it can be traced back to a variety of reasons. Young professionals may assume that it isn’t a priority because of their age and that they have ample time to create one. Others could hold the false position that they simply don’t have enough assets to warrant the costs of hiring an Read More

Updating Your Estate Plan Is Paramount

When you look at estate planning as a process rather than an isolated event, the need for updating it is apparent. Although attorneys can provide the tools you need to ensure your assets go to designated beneficiaries, estate planning can accomplish significantly more. Parents can select and identify guardians for their children. People can designate agents to act for them using a durable power of attorney or a Read More

What Are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

The executor of a Will should be a person you trust to carry out all of the tasks associated with managing and distributing your assets after you have passed away. This process will take at least a few months and can take years, depending on the nature of the assets and the complexity of the distribution plan. Executors have fiduciary duties to the estate, beneficiaries and in some cases creditors.  Fiduciary duty Read More

You Should Include Plans For Guardians in Your Estate Plan

We always want to make sure that our loved ones will be cared for, and designating guardians in your estate plan will help you achieve that goal. A guardian is one or two people who will become caregivers for yourself or your children in the event that you become incapacitated or if there are no surviving parents to care for the children. In Texas, there are three methods of naming a guardian: Will, Appointment of Read More

You Need to Name More Than One Executor for Your Will

Estate planning is contingency planning. Many things will change during your lifetime and your estate plan needs to accommodate those changes in order to remain effective. One of the key elements of your plan is your executor, the person who will manage the details of wrapping up your affairs and distributing your assets as directed in your will.  Why Do I Need More Than One Executor? The person you Read More

Should I Include a Trust Alongside my Will?

Your will is the foundation of your estate plan. Most people are aware of a will and its purpose, but trusts can also play an important role in your estate plan. Trusts may be included within a  will and used in a similar way to, or alongside a Will. Today we’ll be breaking down the difference between a trust and a will because while everyone needs a will, you may also need to consider a trust for your estate Read More