What is burial insurance? Also known as funeral or final expense insurance, burial insurance is a type of whole life insurance policy designed to cover common end-of-life expenses, such as funeral or cremation expenses and medical bills. Because the average cost of a funeral in Texas ranges from $10,000 to $15,000, having a burial insurance policy can help take financial strain off your loved ones. How does burial insurance work? Like other insurance policies, you simply select the amount of coverage you want […]

What if a grandparent wants to leave their minor grandchild a sum of money for their college education? Or what if a minor child is named as the beneficiary of an uncle’s life insurance policy and he passes before the child turns 18? While their intent is sincere, in both situations their wishes are not so easily accommodated. The reason is that a child under the age of 18 who inherits money or property in Texas cannot receive it outright. Nor can the […]

In general, foreign wills – from other states or countries – can be probated in Texas, but there are certain requirements that must be met and particular rules that must be followed in order to successfully probate the will. First, a will is deemed to be foreign if it was executed in a jurisdiction outside of Texas, whether merely another state or another country altogether. Wills are typically made where the decedent and their property resides, but it is possible that the decedent […]

Plenty of federal and state entities have given legal meaning to the words “estate” and “assets,” but in order to keep things as uncomplicated as possible here, we’ll boil it down to their practical definitions. Your estate Simply put, your estate is comprised of all your assets at the time you pass away. So that would include all your real property, like your primary residence and any vacation homes, and all your personal property, like household items, cars, jewelry, and collectibles. Also included […]

You’ve probably seen a movie or read a book where the protagonist is in the last minutes or seconds of their life, and they whisper instructions as to who they want their prized collectibles or precious mementos to go to after they’re gone. In novels and movies, this may seem like a perfectly legitimate way to make your testamentary wishes known, but would these last words constitute a valid will in the real world? Up until 2007 in Texas, the answer would have […]

Most states, including Texas, recognize handwritten (or “holographic”) wills as valid. As you might expect, there are pros and cons to writing your own will. Holographic wills don’t have to be signed by a witness or notarized, and they can be drafted without the help of an attorney. On the downside, they can be attacked more easily than formal or self-proven wills. For example, probating a handwritten will requires someone you know testifying that the will is actually in your handwriting. If someone […]