Probate

Should I Sign an Affidavit?

A common question I receive in my probate practice is whether inherited property can be transferred with an affidavit. I often get this question from potential clients who have either been approached by a family member about signing one, or who scoured the Internet for advice on “how to avoid probate“. In Texas, we have …

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Estate Planning for Co-Parents

“Co-parenting”, “platonic parenting”, and “parallel parenting”–social terms to describe the reality of many modern families– is becoming the norm. But what happens when one of the co-parents dies? When a Co-Parent Dies As devastating as this is for the child, the hardship to a platonic co-parent is just as profound. Where there were two wage …

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Are Handwritten Wills Legal?: A Discussion of Holographic Wills

“Holograph” is a fancy term for a document written entirely in the author’s handwriting. A “Holographic Will”, therefore, is a Will written entirely in the handwriting of the person making the Will. These Wills are also referred to as a “Dying Man’s Will” because they are sometimes written when death is imminent and without the …

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A Guide to Social Security Survivors Benefits

What are Survivors Benefits: A Brief History Economic insecurity was a social issue our nation addressed over 80 years ago with the enactment of the Social Security Act in 1935. What most people don’t realize is that the Act also provides survivors benefits: spouses, children, and dependent parents of a deceased worker can receive survivors …

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7 Ways to Avoid Probate

Can I estate plan to avoid probate? In short, yes, there are some ways to exclude assets from probate. What is Probate? Probate refers to the legal process for distributing the assets of a deceased person, and often requires the assistance of an attorney and a court proceeding. Not only does probate come with a …

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