will

Hit by a Semi – Trusts Imposed in Secret

Trusts can pop up in the darndest places. Take wills, for example. In one case, Sam, a lawyer, drafted a will for his long-time friend and client, Nancy, that stated she was leaving all her property to him “to be distributed in accordance with the specific instructions I have provided him.” The will did not contain the specific instructions. Nancy died, leaving no husband and no children. Her will was probated and...

The Morning After – Executor’s Role After a Death

If you have never served as an executor of a will, then you probably have no idea what your official duties are in the first moments and days following the person’s death.   Executor’s Role Directly After a Death There is a legal answer to that question – you have none. That is because you are not yet the executor.  An executor is a court-created role. You are not an executor until...

Murder, Mayhem and In-Laws – Purposeful Conditional Bequests

Don’t let the grave stop you from harassing a boorish in-law.  Texas thinks it is a fine idea. It is completely legal to write your will in such a way that your daughter does not receive her inheritance until after she has divorced her husband, or he has died. It does not matter that your will could give the impression that the husband is a worthless or profligate husband who...

Five “Secret” Laws that Could Undermine Your Estate Plan

Lurking just beneath the surface of every will are the “secret” terms – those default provisions that the law helpfully inserts when the document is otherwise silent. They can undermine the best of estate plans.   These provisions are not highlighted anywhere. There is no caution light that flashes to notify you of the danger. This is just knowledge that most estate planners – and a very few other souls –...

When Virtual Becomes Reality: Cryptocurrency Comes Riding into Texas

Cryptocurrency is finally becoming accepted in the estate planning world. It just received another big boost in Texas with the enactment of HB 4474, the Virtual Currency Bill. You certainly cannot ignore cryptocurrency, with its $2 trillion valuation, but you probably want to be cautious for now.     What is Cryptocurrency Here is an abbreviated explanation. Cryptocurrency is digital cash. It is transacted through a blockchain, which is the name for the...
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