Estate Planning Wills

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
News & Analysis as of

3 Strange Things About Prince’s Estate

There are several unusual factors at play in the drama that is unfolding surrounding Prince’s estate. This blog post discusses them and offers some tips so that you can hopefully avoid a similar situation....more

Tax Law Blog: Prince's Estate Plan (or lack thereof)

News sources are reporting that court documents filed last week indicate Prince died intestate, meaning he did not have a will. His sister filed the paperwork, stating to her knowledge he did not have a will and requesting...more

Prince: Is His Legacy Really Untold?

As we’ve all seen in the news, musician Prince passed away on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57. According to news sources, on April 26, just five days later, one of Prince’s six siblings, his sister Tyka Nelson, filed...more

Prince: The Lost Legacy of an Estate Plan Untold

You may not have produced over 30 albums, accrued over $300 million and an equivalent amount of fans as Prince, but, like the recent pop star, you too have a legacy that could impact many individuals around you. The term...more

"New Connecticut Laws Limit Transfer Taxes for Some Decedents, Increase Probate Fees for Most Estates"

Connecticut has implemented changes to its transfer tax and probate laws that affect nearly every decedent leaving even a modest estate via will or nonprobate transfer (such as a revocable trust). A new $20 million cap for...more

Family Planning

Well thought out and prepared estate planning is important for many reasons. Some reasons are obvious, such as tax planning and making sure your assets go where you want them to go; others are not. These less obvious...more

Estate Planning Pitfall - Your college-age child doesn’t have an estate plan

In addition to essentials such as clothing, toiletries, bedding and a laptop, students heading off to college in the fall also should “pack” all the necessary financial and medical documents. This brief article details...more

Court Holds That Will Did Not Revoke Inter Vivos Trust

In Gordon v. Gordon, a man and his wife executed a revocable trust agreement and began to fund the trust. No. 11-14-00086-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3357 (Tex. App.—Eastland March 31, 2016, no pet. history). The couple later...more

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan?

Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for one’s spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be overlooked, such as parents or in-laws. This article offers a...more

Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2016

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan? Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for your spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be...more

When is a Will Not a Will? Court Determines that “Will” Was Not a Valid Will or a Valid Gift Deed and that Decedent Later Lacked...

In Lemus v. Aguilar, relatives fought over ownership of a decedent’s home. No. 04-14-00609-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2685 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Mar. 16, 2016, no pet. h.). ...more

Court Addresses Common-Disaster Provision In Will

In Stephens v. Beard, a husband shot his wife, who died immediately, and then shot himself. He died hours later in the hospital. No. 12-13-00160-CV, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 3895 (Tex. App.—Tyler April 10, 2014), rev’d, No....more

Your Estate Plan – Four Documents You Should Be Considering

An estate plan can be a complicated thing. Attorneys, accountants, advisors all may be involved in pulling together a customized plan that conforms to your desires, complies with state and federal law and minimizes your tax...more

Preparation is the most important component of an estate plan.

Many people mistakenly believe that estate planning is only necessary for the rich. In actuality, a basic estate plan is essential for everyone, regardless of income or net worth, because we all want to minimize...more

Addressing adopted children or stepchildren in your estate plan

Families that have children who are adopted, or stepchildren who haven’t been legally adopted, face unique estate planning challenges. Additional consideration must be taken when a family includes an unmarried couple in a...more

Preserving Assets in a Will Contest

There may come a time when one finds it necessary to contest a will, and there can be legitimate reasons for doing so. This course of action is likely to cause emotions to run high, and it could be likely that a beneficiary...more

North Carolina Changes Trust Code and Permits “Living Probate”

On August 11th, Governor McCrory signed North Carolina Senate Bill 336, Act to Amend the Law Governing Estate Planning and Fiduciaries (the “Act”). Notably, the Act adopts a procedure for living probate in North Carolina and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Marriage To Be a Fundamental Right

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) on June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

Estate Planning for Young Families

Proper estate planning for young families is essential, despite often being overlooked by both clients and attorneys. Many young families view their estate as being “simple” because in their minds they “don’t have much,” and...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

What Happens to Your Digital Life After Death? Planning for the Transfer Of Digital Assets

Most people do not think about the large digital footprint that they have created. More importantly, they do not think about how their digital assets might pass (or not) at death. Since these assets may have value, either...more

Capacity at Issue? Consider Making a Video

When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a...more

Have You Reviewed Your Estate Plan Recently?

Estate planning has received some recent media coverage with the deaths of celebrities such as Robin Williams, James Gandolfini, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the case of James Gandolfini, the coverage focused on his failure...more

Last-Minute Wills….What Counts?

Monitoring his emails and gazing at the sights on Elafonisi beach in Crete, attorney Al B. Wise receives a desperate 4:30 a.m. (Texas time) email from his best client Betty Makit Williams – “Going under Slim Cutter’s knife in...more

Last Wishes, First Impression: Potential legal issues arise after Munich recluse passes away, bequeathing Nazi-looted art to a...

Cornelius Gurlitt’s notarized will, which did not surface until after his unexpected death this past May, lists the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland as the heir to his vast art collection, which included works by Matisse, Dix,...more

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