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April 2014 Archives

Wills and beneficiaries: Fate of Rooney's body decided

As most Texas readers of this blog are aware, Mickey Rooney passed away earlier this month at the robust age of 93. Not long after his death, it became public knowledge that the Hollywood star's estate held a value of only $18,000. Rather than naming other potential beneficiaries in his estate paperwork, he left this small sum to his stepson, who was serving as his caretaker.

Texas pet planning: Can my pets be beneficiaries?

Texas residents looking to plan the most complete estate possible may not be clear on how to handle their furry friends in those plans. In fact, for many estate planners, their pet is the most important "person" in their lives, and for these individuals, it is vital to include the pet in their estate documentation. Fortunately, there is a wide array of options to those who wish to make their pets beneficiaries of their estate.

Texas estate planning and retirement account beneficiaries

Texas residents must consider all relevant factors during the construction of their estate plan. Wills and estate plans are best served when drafted in a way to ensure that one's beneficiaries receive what was intended. A recently deceased telemarketing executive stated in his will that his three children would divide his entire estate. What this man did not know is that the money in his 401(k), which represented a large portion of his estate, was not governed by his will under the law.

Texas case shows importance of adult guardianship instructions

One important aspect of completing the estate planning process is having a living will on file. This way, if a Texas resident is incapacitated and unable to make decisions for him or herself, a medical power of attorney will be clearly defined. It is also important to keep such documents up to date in the event of a major life change, such as being separated from an estranged spouse. Even prior to finalizing a divorce, one can have a different family member serve as one's medical power of attorney in one's estate guardianship instructions.