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Part 3: The Cost Of A Small Estate Affidavit

In this series of blogs, I am outlining various different types of probates or probate alternatives to settle an estate and their likely costs. As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, the cost is predominantly determined by the type of procedure followed. 

In Part One, I discussed probate as a muniment of title, which usually is the least expensive procedure. In Part Two, I discussed the cost of an independent administration of the estate. Both of those procedures require the decedent to have had a will. If there is no will, the least expensive way to settle the estate through a court proceeding is a small estate affidavit.  

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Part 2: The Cost Of Probate As An Independent Administration

In this series of blogs, I am outlining various different types of probates or probate alternatives to settle an estate and their likely costs. As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, the cost is predominantly determined by the type of procedure followed. In Part One, I discussed probate as a muniment of title, which usually is the least expensive procedure. Many times that type of probate is not appropriate, though, and an independent administration is required.

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Part One: The Cost Of Probate As A Muniment Of Title

In this series of blogs, I am outlining various different types of probates or probate alternatives to settle an estate and their likely costs. As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, the cost is predominantly determined by the type of procedure followed. This type of probate is the least expensive formal, court-administered proceeding. 

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What Is The Cost Of Probate Or Administration Of An Estate?

One of the first questions the family of a loved one that has passed will ask is, “What will it cost to settle the estate?”

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Do I Need A Trust?

I frequently am asked by prospective estate planning clients, "Do I need a trust?" The answer is the classic one: It depends.
 
For some people a revocable living trust is a very smart estate planning tool, and for others it is a waste of money.
 
Trusts are promoted in a lot of random general literature that the public receives. They are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Whether setting up a living trust is a good idea for you should be discussed with an estate planning attorney who has full knowledge of your assets, family circumstances, and desires.
 
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Cost Of Drawing Up A Will VS. Probate Without A Will

Many people are afraid of drawing up a will and doing other estate planning because of the perceived high cost. The truth is, drawing up a will is a small cost compared to the cost of probate of an estate if you die without a will and own almost any property.
             


For a simple “Mom and Pop” will, where spouses leave everything to each other, if surviving, or on the death of the survivor to their adult  children, the cost is not likely to be more than $500 per person. Even if trust provisions are added to the will for possible minor beneficiaries, the cost is still likely around $750 per person.

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Should I Incorporate?

Is incorporation right for my business?

 

If you ask me whether you should incorporate or not, I will give you the typical lawyer response, “it depends”. Each situation is different and depends on many factors.

Three key factors that go into making the decision of whether to incorporate or not are:

  1. Liability Protection For Personal Assets

  2. Income Tax Pro’s & Con’s

  3. Business Management Pro’s & Con’s


Learn more about these three factors below.  

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What Is A Muniment Of Title Probate, And When Is It Appropriate?

Texas law provides for a shortened, less complicated, less expensive form of probate in specific circumstances called probate as a muniment of title. This funny-sounding procedure really means that your loved one’s will is officially recognized as valid by the probate court and placed of public record as notice to third parties to honor the terms of the will for transfer of property. This is a very simple process compared to a full, regular probate.

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What Is A Deed With Enhanced Retained Life Estate (Lady Bird Deed)?

A fairly new estate planning trick that is extremely effective and low cost is a deed with a retained life estate or “Lady Bird” deed. This tool can be used for all types of real estate interests.

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How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Trust?

 

If you are considering setting up a trust, you are most likely wondering how much it will cost you. Unfortunately, the standard lawyer answer is “it depends.”

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