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What Is The Simplest Probate In Texas When There Is No Will?

 

If your loved one died without a Will, transferring his or her assets to beneficiaries can be quite difficult. If no action is taken, assets will not be properly transferred and the beneficiaries will have to take some legal action down the road to straighten out the situation. In some cases, a costly determination of heirship proceeding and dependent administration of the estate may be required. 

 

 

There is one probate procedure, however, that is quite simple—if it can be used. The key is meeting Texas statutory requirements for what is called a “Small Estate Affidavit.”

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The Difference Between Statutory Transfer On Death Deed & Lady Bird Deed

Two terms are used in the state of Texas to describe a deed that automatically transfers title to real estate you own on your death—a transfer on death deed and a “Lady Bird Deed” (LBD). The distinction between these two deeds is subtle, but very important.


 
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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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When Is A Living Trust A Waste Of Money

One of my biggest pet peeves over the years has been the over-selling of living trust packages to folks doing their estate planning. There are definitely times when a living trust is a good estate planning tool. However, for many individuals a living trust is an unnecessary expense.    

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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.

 

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How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Trust?

 

People will frequently hear about setting up a trust as part of an estate plan. Typically, this is a revocable living trust, although some situations call for an irrevocable living trust. A revocable trust is one that can be completely or partially revoked either during the lifetime of the person creating the trust or afterward. An irrevocable trust means just that: it cannot be revoked.

Another form of trust is a testamentary trust. This is one that is set up as part of a will and does not become effective until your death. The trust I will be discussing here is a living trust. If a trust is set up under a will, that fee is included under the will preparation fee. 

Not every person needs a trust. Unfortunately, some "trust salesmen" have held big seminars as they travel through town to try to convince everyone that they need a living trust. 

Generally, unless you have a complex estate, you do not need a living trust to dispose of your estate. A living trust is a good idea if you own real property or mineral interests in another state. Sometimes, also, people prefer to use a living trust rather than a will to keep the terms of their bequests private. A will, if probated, becomes a public record, whereas a trust does not. There are other instances when a living trust is a good idea and instances when it is not.

If you have determined that setting up a trust is a good idea for you, you are most likely wondering how much it will cost you. Unfortunately, the standard lawyer answer is “it depends.”

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The Holidays: The Perfect Time To Talk To Your Family About Legal Arrangements

Now that we’re past Halloween, we are head-long into the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and soon, you’ll be surrounded by friends and family. Believe it or not, those are perfect times to talk to your loved ones about estate planning. After all, it beats talking about politics, doesn’t it? 


                                                               

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What Is Involved In Setting Up A Living Trust

Setting up a living trust is the best way to ensure your assets are passed onto the right people if you pass away. So how do you start the process?          

The first advice I would give you is to consult an estate planning attorney. This is in the area where self-help and online resources like LegalZoom can get you into trouble. If the trust and follow-up steps are not done correctly, you can have totally wasted the time and money you may have invested in the program. 

After you have found a qualified attorney, follow these steps...


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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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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.

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