DON’T LOSE THE ORIGINAL WILL Wills only take legal effect when the person who made the will dies and the will is admitted to probate. Probate is a legal process where a court hears evidence to prove that the will is valid and should be given legal effect. Normally this requires that the original will ( not a copy) be filed with the clerk of the court. Most wills are self-authenticating, that … [Read more...] about What Happens If The Original Will Is Lost?
In most estate planning you will be called on to select five fiduciaries: the agent on your medical power of attorney; the agent on your statutory durable power of attorney, a guardian on your declaration of guardian; the executor of your will; and the trustee of any trust you create. For each of these positions my advice is to select the best qualified person for the job. There are … [Read more...] about Selecting a Fiduciary
Most people think of estate planning as just doing a will or otherwise planning for passing ownership of property at death. While that is important, estate planning should include much more. Every married person should seriously consider the marital property laws that apply to them and how they can be altered to meet your wants and needs. Texas is a community property state but it … [Read more...] about Estate Planning is More Than Just a Will
One of the most common problems with legal documents arises when you take your documents to the bank to be signed, witnessed or notarized. An employee of a bank may be able to witness your document or notarize it, but what the employee cannot do is give you legal advice about the document or what legally is required for the document to be valid. What is A Will? A classic example is a … [Read more...] about How to Self-Prove a Will In Texas
Wills have been at the center of estate planning for many years. However, wills don’t take legal effect until the person who made the will dies and the Will is admitted to probate. In short, wills don’t have legal effect until you go to court. Frequently, clients will want to avoid having to go to court, whether for reasons of expense, privacy, or just discomfort with being in … [Read more...] about New Ways to Avoid Probate
Elder Law recognizes that older people have a special set of issues to be addressed through the legal system. Among these are public benefits, retirement, guardianship, insurance including long-term care insurance, estate planning for life and protection from neglect and exploitation. Some argue that Elder Law started with the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935, but without a doubt, … [Read more...] about Elder Law Defined