I recently had someone ask me at an event about executing a will. Specifically, what happens when someone needs to sign a will, but they have a disability (like blindness) that prevents signing? There are a few considerations. §251.051 of Texas Estates Code is a good place to start: “Except as otherwise provided by law, a last will and testament must be: in writing; signed by: the testator in person;
These days, protecting your information is more important than ever. Clients are often worried about the private information contained in a will becoming public knowledge when they go through probate. There are usually two areas for concern. The will itself. When a will is probated, the will is entered in its entirety into the court record and often times, into the deed records of the county for property transfers. That information is very pubic.
I’ve talked about probate quite a bit in previous posts, which is good because its one of our firm’s core practice areas. The first question I hear is usually, “how long does probate take?” To answer that question simply, it depends on if there is a probate contest or not, and if there will. If there is a will and no contest pending, most of the time it will only
Payment on Death Beneficiary Accounts, also known as P.O.D. accounts, have been gaining in popularity over the last several years. A P.O.D. account designation is a contract between you and your financial institutions that upon your death, the financial institution agrees to pay whatever money is in the account at the time of your death to your listed beneficiaries. It acts the same way a life insurance policy does. It
Many people want to be in charge of their loved one’s Estate because it comes with a lot of power and authority, and they believe they are the best ones to carry out their loved one’s wishes. While that may be the case, the State of Texas has some reservations who qualifies as the best choice for the Executor or Administrator. Section 304.003 of the Texas Estates Code states
Many people come into our office and are adamant that they need a trust. They aren’t sure what kind of trust, or what exactly a trust does, but they know they need one. More and more, I find myself explaining to them that they don’t really need a trust. Often, they will spend more money and more time in upkeep of a trust over the years than it’s really worth.
Once in a while, a client comes in who needs some probate done fast. Depending on if there is a will or not, appointment of an administrator can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, which is why we always recommend speaking to a probate or estate attorney as soon as you can after a loved one passes away. However, if you have some major time
What’s the difference between a Warranty Deed and a Quitclaim? I’ve also heard clients incorrectly call it a ‘Quickclaim Deed”. The main difference between the two types of deeds is what the seller guaranteeing, and what protection the buyer is receiving. A Warranty Deed contains a clause in the Deed that effectively warrants, or guarantees, that the Seller owns the land that they are selling. If it turns out
Have you been putting off getting a Will because you say the kids can fight about it when you’re gone? Or, you don’t want to pay for something that you won’t be around to use yourself? Here’s a quick breakdown of the costs of Probate with a Will versus without a Will. If you have a Will, Your property goes to your named beneficiaries, and does not have
A lot of things end at the time of divorce, not just a marriage. If you’ve been smart and had an estate plan prepared while you’re married, you now need to be proactive again. Upon divorce, many documents cease to have their same effect. That can often be a good thing, but it can leave holes in your estate plan if you’re not aware of the changes. For