Please excuse the bluntness, but when your spouse dies you will need to address some legal and financial issues. You need to be prepared. Make this your starting point Unless you have a written marital agreement that states otherwise, at the time of death your spouse will own 100 percent of his or her separate property, and an undivided one-half of the community estate. … [Read more...] about When the Unthinkable Happens: The Survivor’s Action Plan
W.C. Cowan and his sister Ora Lea Scott could not wait for their mother Rosa to die. That is not to say that they wanted Rosa dead. Quite the opposite: they wanted her to live at least until they could get a court order ruling that her will was invalid. Rosa and her husband J.C. had three children: W.C., Ora and James. On May 16, 1949 Rosa signed a will leaving her husband J.C. her … [Read more...] about Life as a Defense: Will Contest is a Timing Issue
Know your roles. They are key to deciphering your rights under contract and statute. A good example is found in the Texas Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Ferreira v. Butler case. Here is the background. Norman divorced Linda. He then married Patricia, who had children from a prior marriage. Patricia died in 2006, leaving a will that left her entire estate to Norman. Norman never … [Read more...] about Roles In Probate and Is the 4 Year Rule Gone?
This may sound harsh, but you need to do more for your family than just sign a will. You should also leave them a map to follow. How do you go about it? Prepare your executor. You should have a list of all of your beneficiaries and professional advisors with their contact information. Tell your executor where you keep your original will. Tell your successor trustees where you keep … [Read more...] about Great Ideas for Families: Preparation Goes a Long Way
The Social Security Administration is not going to call you out of the blue and threaten you with arrest if you do not press a number and give your personal information. Your grandchild does not need you to send $10,000 in small bills, folded inside magazine pages, via federal express to get him or her out of legal trouble. Funds donated through a GoFundMe page set up after a natural disaster … [Read more...] about Scams with a 2019 Twist: SSA, Grandchildren and Disasters
Before you buy into that stereotype that all older Americans are demented, helpless and lonely, check out these statistics. Ninety-seven percent of Americans over 65 are NOT in nursing homes. Here’s an even more interesting statistic - ninety-one percent of Americans aged 85 and older are not in nursing homes. Ninety percent of Americans aged 65 and older DO NOT have Alzheimer’s dementia. … [Read more...] about Old but Not Out: Why You Should Not Write-off Your Elders