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It happens more often than people think: Dad is sick and hasn’t seen his kids for years…his new wife encourages him to update his Will to reflect his new marriage status and love. Dad eventually dies and the children are less than happy to find out that their new Stepmom is the sole beneficiary of their Dad’s estate. Feeling robbed and outraged, they want to contest the new Will. Is

The advantage of a small business forming an LLC is that it creates a protection barrier between the small business owner and the business. If the business is sued and the LLC has been properly maintained, then the business owner’s personal assets will be protected from the lawsuit. The lawsuit will only be able to claim damages against the assets in the LLC, and not the owner’s bank accounts, properties,

“He no longer has the right to vote.” “He no longer has the power to decide where he lives.” “He no longer has the right to drive a vehicle.” “He no longer has the power to withdraw money from his bank account.” Those can be hard words to hear for any American to hear, but sometimes it’s for that person’s own good. As we are live longer now, more and

Take that snapshot The holidays are here, roaring like a freight train upon us. I want to share one of the habits I’ve gotten into when I head home for the holidays. It goes like this… I like to walk into the main room of my grandmother’s home in West Texas on Christmas Day. In our family, the large Christmas meal is usually a dinner, because years of habit have ingrained that morning

A good portion of our practice is estate planning. To us, this means working with our clients to avoid things they want to avoid, or to hit goals they have sighted in on. There are so many great tools to accomplish you and your spouse’s goals, but let’s just focus on the worries that can plague holiday travel. Get a Medical Power of Attorney This is a big one to

A lot of my clients have a question regarding a Self-Proving affidavit on a will: What is it? Their second question is often “Why do I need it?” Here’s what it is and why you need it: A Self-Proving Affidavit for a Will is a document (normally a page or two) that is the last page of a Will. It contains the signatures of the Testator (the person who is

It seems everyone wants a Power of Attorney, even if they aren’t sure what it is or what it does. They just know they should have one. A Power of Attorney designation is a great tool and when used properly it can save a lot of financial hardship and headache. However, an agent appointed by a Power of Attorney has great power and it can easily be abused. Therefore, before

Let’s talk a little about debt and creditors in probate. To begin, once a probate process starts, someone is usually appointed the administrator of the estate. This could be an executor named in a will, or someone who applies to be an administrator with the court if there is no will. I often get calls from potential administrators telling me that creditors are calling and stressing them out. First, be aware

1. Dependent Administration. A Dependent Administration is typically the most expensive and most time consuming avenue of Probate. The “dependent” part of the title means the Executor is dependent on the Probate Court to approve and sign off on every probate decision and action the Executor takes. This means that every time the Executor needs to sell property in the Estate, pay a claim out of the Estate account, distribute

It happens over and over again. A wife comes into my office after her husband has passed away and she wants to know how to get everything switched over to her name. She’s heard of Probate and an Executor but she really isn’t sure how the Probate process works. Maybe her husband’s name was on the car, and both their names were on the house. She just wants to keep