Texas Laws

Trusts in Texas

A Trust is a legal chameleon. What is a Trust At its most basic, a trust is an agreement by a fiduciary (the trustee)  to hold property for the benefit of another.  A trust is not a separate legal entity. There are three players in a trust – the settlor (who establishes and sometimes funds the trust), the trustee (who administers the trust) and the beneficiary (who benefits from the trust). A trust...

Legal vs Ethical Responsibilities

The Post-Thanksgiving Blues Reflections Bring Good Cheer With any luck, you have finished waving goodbye to the last of the relatives and returned to your home.  Home, a place where you can reminisce in private about all of the real and imagined slights, jabs and jibes made by that graceless, greedy, egocentric, are-you-sure-we-are-even-related mob.   Too soon?   Let’s steer your emotions towards a more productive use by reflecting on the differences between your moral...

How To Start An LLC In Texas

Join the Club -  The Exclusive, Elusive Texas LLC Limited Liability Companies are all the rage in business circles.  You need to know the basics if you have any aspirations at all to run with the in-crowd.  You may eventually decide that you need to bring at least one LLC into your life. An LLC is a creature of statute.  Since we’re in Texas, we will focus on LLCs created under...

How to Self-Prove a Will In Texas

One of the most common problems with legal documents arises when you take your documents to the bank to be signed, witnessed or notarized. An employee of a bank may be able to witness your document or notarize it, but what the employee cannot do is give you legal advice about the document or what legally is required for the document to be valid. What is A Will? A classic example...

Guardianship Reform at the Forefront of State Policies

It is easy to criticize a state government, but we should also give credit where it is due. Texas has been recognized as a model for other states for its Guardianship Abuse Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence Program. That is guardianship reform, folks, and it is a good thing.  The population of Texans 65+ is projected to double to 6 million by 2030. Since 2014, the Texas Judicial Council has been studying guardianship...

Privacy for the Deceased: Law Provides Limited Protection

Suppose your father, an intensely private person, dies as the result of a bizarre murder-for-hire scheme. The press is everywhere, demanding family public statements, autopsy results and funeral arrangements.   Some fanatic even sends out a tweet soliciting protestors for your father’s graveside service. You wonder what you can do to secure your father’s privacy after death. The answer starts with the general principle that a person’s right to privacy lapses at his...

Happy HIPAA! Getting the Most from Your Family Gathering

Perhaps there was a master plan that caused the traditional family gatherings of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas to fall so close together. If you are into conspiracy theories, you might even question the motive behind throwing family members into close contact for days on end. The incidental benefit is that after all of the forced family togetherness, you now have a good idea who you want to name on your...