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January 2012 Archives

Stieg Larsson: finished the books, forgot the will

The author of the Millennium trilogy died before his first novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was published. Stieg Larsson left behind at least four novels when he died of a heart attack at the age of 50, but he failed author the most important document of all: his will.

The danger of relying on oral promises in estate planning

Texas residents should beware of relying on oral promises for their estate planning needs. One of the main functions of a will and estate plan is to make sure that your wishes for the distribution of your assets are clear and followed. If you make an oral promise that is inconsistent with your will or greater estate plan, there is no guarantee that this oral promise will be honored. In fact, it is more likely that a court will throw out any probate litigation based on the alleged promise.

Early estate planning can help avoid probate litigation

Rosa Parks is known as one of the famous civil rights activists in America History, but this civil rights icon's estate has been mired in conflict and litigation. Rosa Park's estate plan provided that her possessions would go to a charitable institute dedicated to the education of black youth and community betterment. Unfortunately the charitable work of the estate and its trust were hindered by unnecessary litigation.

Lack of an estate plan can lead to familial strife

It is important to work with an estate planning attorney who understands your needs and your wishes for your estate. You have no say in how your estate will be handled if you fail to execute an estate plan. The failure to execute a will, trust, or other estate planning tools can lead to familial strife as various family members may have different ideas on how to divide up the assets of an estate. The lack of a will can also lead to corruption, fraud, and probate litigation that can drag on for years.