Digital Asset Series Part II: The Most Common Types of Digital Assets

In Part I of this series, I defined and provided examples of digital assets. Today we are going to focus on the two most popular categories of digital assets: personal and social media. Some sites, like Facebook and Gmail, have specific policies in place for handling your digital assets after your death. However, many digital sites and services have yet to develop such policies. Despite that fact, there is still a Read More

Digital Asset Series Part I: What are Digital Assets?

As little as 25 years ago, digital assets were only talked about by those immersed in the emerging tech world. Today most people have smart phones that allow us to access our e-mail wherever we are, online sites to upload our photos to share them with family near and far and a slew of social media sites so that we can stay connected and voice opinions with the those all around the globe. Your e-mails, photos, Read More

Challenges of the Probate Homestead

Debbie Cunningham recently wrote an article for Headnotes, a publication by Dallas Bar Association, titled “Challenges of the Probate Homestead.” You can click on the link for the full article or continue reading below. On the face of the issue, the probate homestead is quite simple and straightforward. Estates Code Chapter 102 provides clear direction on how to handle a decedent’s homestead. In summary, the Read More

What Needs to be Done When a Loved One Passes Away?

When a loved one has passed those left behind are often at a loss for how to proceed.  What needs to be done?  When must it be done?  Can I delay the process to allow time to grieve?  Following are some general guidelines to help answer these questions for residents of Texas.  Since laws vary from state to state and change over time, you will want to consult an attorney to ensure you have information relevant to your Read More

The Importance of Business Succession Planning

Business owners start businesses for a variety of reasons.  They have discovered or created a great new product.  They might have felt they could do a better job of providing a service.  Some business are born out of necessity after a layoff.  What ever the reason for formation all businesses have one common future, the person who started the business will leave the business. While this departure sometimes occurs as Read More

The Importance of Planning When Your Loved Ones are Estranged

Everyone knows they should have a basic estate plan. Powers of Attorney grant decision making authority for incapacity and a will specifies what should happen after your passing. Many people fail to grasp the potential for complication when some of your loved ones are estranged. Consider the case of Sally who lost her adult son, George, in a car accident. Sally was no longer married to George’s father and George had Read More

Destroy Old Documents

At document signing ceremonies, I am often asked “What should I do with my old will, power of attorney and other estate planning documents?”  My answer remains the same.  The old documents should be destroyed and you should do it right away. Why the urgency?  If you don’t destroy them right away you may forget.  This forgotten will replaced by a newer will can turn the family upside down after a death.  While your Read More

Beneficiaries with Substance Abuse Issues

As I work with families on their estate plans, one of the more difficult issues that  is raised is what to do when a family member has a substance abuse problem.  Substance abuse effects people of every generation and takes on many forms.  Whether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal narcotics the affects on the family can be huge.  Families facing this concern should consider the following questions when Read More

Classification of Your Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors

The IRS is very interested in whether companies have properly classified their workers as employees or independent contractors.  Why? Because if an individual is classified as an employee, he or she is subject to federal income tax and employment tax withholding when the wages are paid. This means the government gets their tax money right away.  Wages and taxes withheld are reported via the Form W-2. If an individual Read More

Power of Attorney for College Students

As parents begin to prepare their high school graduates to leave for college the to do list can get quite lengthy.  One item that should be near the top is getting a medical power of attorney.  This is necessary because your child is now or likely soon will be eighteen and a legal adult.  This newly acquired adult status is often overlooked and comes with many new rights and responsibilities.  For example, your child Read More