Blog

What Is The Legal Process To Divide An Estate If There Is No Will?

Families frequently come to me needing to know how to figure out who gets what when a loved one dies without a will. Unfortunately, the answer is that they may be in for a lot of expense and time in a very complicated legal proceeding.

Read More  

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.  

Read More  

Why You Should Start Estate Planning In Your 20's

Estate planning isn't just for rich or older individuals. Even young, asset-poor 20-somethings should start thinking about how their property will be distributed in the event of a tragedy. Drawing up an estate plan is not as much an action you need to take for yourself, but one you should take for your loved ones. 

Just like an older individual, a young, single person has as much need for a will to designate who would receive anything in the event of his or her death. Whether you have a little or a lot, without a will, the State of Texas will assume your parents should receive your estate. This may not be your preference. Therefore, creating an estate plan will help ensure your wishes are met.

In addition, in the event of your passing, a loved one would also have to spend a great deal of money to go through an estate administration process. If you draw up a will, you could prevent your parents from enduring this stressful, expensive situation.

Read More  

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.”

Read More  

What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? (Part Two)

This blog is part two of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will. Part One discussed an Application To Determine Heirship  proceeding, the more formal court proceeding to determine heirs and order transfer of property.

Sometimes, we determine after a review of the assets of the deceased loved one that a more informal, less expensive “Affidavit Of Heirship” would be sufficient.

It is not always certain that third parties will accept the informal “Affidavit,” but because it is so much less expensive than the formal court proceeding, it may be worth trying this first.

Read More  

What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? (Part One)

Unfortunately, I get this call many times every day. If the property in the estate does not exceed the value of $75,000, not including the value of a homestead, a court proceeding called a “small estate affidavit” can sometimes be used. However, in most situations, this very simplified proceeding cannot be used. In those situations, there are generally are two options.

  • Application for Determination of Heirship (a court proceeding)
  • Non-court Involved Affidavit of Heirship

Which of these two options will be best varies with each situation, depending on the types of assets owned and the third parties who will be required to transfer the assets. Some third parties only will accept the court proceeding. Commonly, this could be brokerages and insurance companies. However, many third parties will accept the less expensive Affidavit of Heirship. Even title companies routinely accept an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer title to real estate unless there is a very large amount of money involved.

This is part one of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? Here I will discuss the more formal application for determination of heirship.

Read More  

Why Parents Of Young Children Need Wills

Most young parents don’t want to even think about the possibility of death and see no need for estate planning. However, if a tragedy struck and both parents of minor children were killed, the situation left for their loved ones to deal with is extremely complicated, expensive, and emotional.

Read More  

To Trust or Not to Trust: Who Really Needs a Revocable Living Trust?

Especially for older folks, you may be bombarded with sales pitches for setting up or buying living trusts  by telemarketers, mail solicitations, “free” seminars, and advertisements.

This has been a favorite area for consumer fraud in recent years, resulting in huge sums of unnecessary expense for unsuspecting consumers. The revocable living trusts are usually touted as the way for you to avoid huge probate expenses, long delays in probate, or other scare tactics. 
Read More  

Do I Need A Living Trust? [Estate Planning Q&A Video Series]

Many people have heard the term “living trust” and think it is a magical estate planning tool for everyone. For some people, a living trust truly is a smart way to handle their estate, but for others, it is an unnecessary expense.

 

Read More  

How Do I Get A Will? [Estate Planning Q&A Video Series]

Today, there are many ways you can go about getting a will. To ensure your will accomplishes your wishes, while also avoiding the greatest expense and complication, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Read More