Unfortunately this article is not about skydiving, visiting the Alamo, or riding a bull for the first time.  Check out the Tim McGraw song or the Morgan Freeman movie if that’s what you were looking for.  No, this is a more practical look at preparing for the inevitable.  It’s easy to want to avoid discussing it, but it’s just as much a part of life as dream vacations and bull riding.  Why wouldn’t you plan for it just like your retirement, your career, […]

A recent USA Today article noted that fewer older Americans have estate plans than ever before.  This troubling trend should sound alarm bells throughout the land, but for a majority of Americans this is not news at all.  In fact, it’s estimated that only about one third of adults have an estate plan.  Of the two-thirds that don’t have any advanced planning in place, almost three-quarters are women. The statistics are downright worrisome, but why are so many of us foregoing this valuable […]

For purposes of estate planning, a blended family is one where married couples have children from previous relationships or marriages.  These families can include step children, half siblings, or even extended family members who live in the same household. It is very important to revisit your estate plan after a divorce or remarriage, especially when children are involved.  The only way to make sure your children are protected in these situations is to have an estate plan in place that reflects your wishes.  […]

I admit, it’s tempting.  The lure of the instant solution, avoiding a stodgy lawyer’s office, saving money, and a easy way to check that project off your to-do list.  I’m speaking of course about the myriad of online options for creating your own will or trust.  It seems like they’re all over the internet these days.  But like so many other things on the internet, you should be careful where you tread.  Sometimes because you can doesn’t mean you should. Not that you’re […]

Okay, we have to own up to something.  Officially, October 16-22, 2023 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, but we are so passionate about providing peace of mind to our clients that we extended this important week into a whole month.  It’s tough to convey all the value an estate plan brings you and your family in just one week, so we’ve decided to use the entire month of October to remind everyone of the importance of creating or maintaining an estate plan. […]

When you had your will drafted years ago, you might have thought it could sit in your file cabinet until that fateful day when it was needed and everything would work out just fine. That might be true, but the reality is that things change, and the estate plan you set up in your 30s might not be what you need in your 50s or beyond. So maybe it’s time to blow the dust off and take a look at your documents to […]

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 […]

An objective of many estate plans is to provide a smooth transition for loved ones. The effectiveness of your plan in accomplishing that goal depends on a few key people or entities you select to handle your affairs in your absence. Your estate planning documents create these roles, and the people you select to fill them are known as fiduciaries. What are the types of fiduciaries? Generally speaking, there are four types of fiduciaries in your estate plan – executor, guardian, agent, and […]

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 […]

A will is a tried and true estate planning tool that enables you to, among other things, distribute your assets and protect your legacy. And although every will is different, each should have the following ten features to provide a seamless transition for loved ones and ensure the will’s validity and effectiveness. Heading, marital history, and children – The first section of your will should include your full name, county of residence, and a declaration that you intend for the document to be […]