Dying Without A Will For Common Law Same Sex Couples

Categories: Estate Planning

Many people in Texas don’t have a Will. However, if a person dies without a Will directing to whom their property passes, the person dies “intestate” and the laws of intestacy determine who gets the deceased’s property. As we will discuss in this article, it is especially important to have a Will if the person…

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Retirement Benefits Trusts

Categories: Estate Planning

If you have worked and managed to save large balances in retirement plans it is imperative that you properly plan for the assets to pass to named beneficiaries in order to minimize taxes. Generally the beneficiaries of retirement plans will be either your heirs or spouse. If the spouse is named the beneficiary then he…

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What is a HIPAA Release?

Categories: Estate Planning

When you visit a doctor’s office or have medical treatment done, most physicians’ offices now require the patient to read and sign a HIPAA authorization. What is a HIPAA release? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that includes privacy provisions intended to protect a patient’s confidential medical information. The…

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Undue Influence When Making A Will

Categories: Estate Planning

A Will is an important legal document that designates who will receive property of a testator when he dies. A Will enables property to pass to others with minimal court involvement. Under Texas law there are certain legal requirements that must be met when executing the Will. One important requirement is that the testator freely…

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Testamentary Capacity For Making a Will

Categories: Estate Planning

A Will is a valuable legal document that designates who will receive property of a testator when he dies. Under Texas law, an adult may draft a Will at any time, as long as he meets the legal requirements when executing the Will. One important requirement is that the testator was of sound mind (or…

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Pitfalls of Drafting Your Own Will

Categories: Estate Planning

Many people make plans for what they wish to happen when they die. A key legal document in a good estate plan is a legally executed Will. A Will designates who will receive the property in the estate upon a loved one’s passing. There are many options available when drafting a Will. In this article…

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Dying Without a Will in Texas While Single

Categories: Estate Planning

Sometimes people die without having made a Will. A Will is a legal document, usually drafted by a Texas attorney, that states who will get the person’s property when he dies. If the person did not plan and prepare a Will, the person dies “intestate” and the Texas laws of intestacy determine who gets the…

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Joint Tenancies and Tenancies in Common in Texas

Categories: Estate Planning

Property is often owned by two or more people simultaneously. This is referred to as a concurrent estate. Two of the most common forms of concurrent estates in Texas are joint tenancies and tenancies in common. These concurrent estates are similar, but have key distinctions which can have significant effects when it comes to issues…

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What Happens When a Beneficiary of My Will Dies Before Me?

Categories: Estate Planning

Under the common law, whenever a beneficiary of a will predeceased the person making the will (known as the “testator”), the gift intended for the beneficiary in the will failed or “lapsed” and was given to the residuary beneficiary or beneficiaries of the testator’s estate, that is, those beneficiaries entitled to whatever was left in the estate after certain specific gifts were made. In order to avoid the sometimes harsh results of this rule–for instance, when a beneficiary family member with children predeceases the testator, thus depriving his or her children of the benefit of the inheritance–Texas, like many other states, has enacted what is referred to an “anti-lapse” statute to deal with these problems. If you would like advice on planning for the distribution of your estate in the even that a loved one or other beneficiary passes before you, contact Austin estate planning attorney Farren Smith for a consultation.

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