FAQs About Trusts, Trusts

Do I Need To Record My Trust in Texas?

In Texas a trust is not a legal entity. Rather, it is a legal relationship in which a trustee holds legal title for the benefit of another…

FAQs About Probate, Probate

Can an Independent Executor Alter How my Property is Distributed?

A man who was named independent executor in a Will called me. Someone told him that as the independent executor, he had the right to distribute Testator…

The Risk of DIY Planning

DIY Planning Can Be a Nightmare!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from a woman whose ex-boyfriend had died, naming her as the sole beneficiary and executor of his…

FAQs About Dying Without A Will

Are Stepchildren Legal Heirs in the State of Texas?

When someone dies without a Will in Texas, their assets pass according to a statutory formula called the intestacy statutes. The intestacy statutes take into account a…

Special Needs Trusts

What is a Pooled Special Needs Trust?

Special needs trusts are trusts that hold assets for a disabled beneficiary and distribute funds in a way that preserves the beneficiary’s eligibility to receive public benefits.

Estate Planning, The Texas Transfer on Death Deed

Does Property Passed by Transfer on Death Deed Receive a Step-Up in Basis?

When someone receives a gift, the recipient of the gift is not responsible for reporting the value of any gifts as income. Rather, it is the gift-giver,…

FAQs About Powers of Attorney and Directives

Is an Advance Directive Signed In Another State Valid in Texas?

A living will, or directive to physicians, is a document that allows you to instruct your physicians not to use artificial methods to extend your life in…

The Risk of DIY Planning

The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning

We are a nation of do-it-yourselfers. Nowhere is that fact more evident than in our local Home Depot or Lowe’s stores. If we need new flooring, we…

Requirements of a Valid Will, Wills

Can I Make a Will if I am Physically Incapable of Signing a Document?

A Will is an important document. It allows you to specify who will receive your property when you die. To be valid, certain formalities must be…

Planning for Special Circumstances

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

For many years, the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) prevented the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples. As a result, same-sex couples could…