A Method For Avoiding Probate

After drafting a plan with your attorney or dealing with a loved one’s estate after passing away, you will appreciate the importance of titling assets. When a person passes away having only completed a will (or nothing at all), their assets will be subject to probate. Previous blogs explained the probate process when you pass away with and without a will. Though we are not here to discuss the probate process, one Read More

Leaving Your Children Unequal Shares

When you make the decision to have a Will drafted, you want it to express your wishes and make things simpler for the loved ones you leave behind.You will determine how your assets will be distributed, choose an executor of your estate, and may select a guardian for your children. When the Will we drafted to your specifications is finalized, you can be confident that you have a valid legal document.  However, there Read More

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