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July 2017 Archives

Criteria for choosing a family member as fiduciary

While previous posts on this blog have mentioned that Houston, Texas, residents have the option of hiring a bank or other institution to act as a professional fiduciary, executor, or trustee, in most cases, Texans are going to rely on a close family member or friend who is like family to manage their property.

How do I estimate the value of the family-owned business?

A previous post on this blog discussed the important duty the executor of an estate has to value the property of the estate accurately, particularly when the person who died had a lot of wealth and may be subject to federal taxes as a result.

You can't predict the future, but you may be able to plan for it

Life is often full of sudden and unexpected changes, and having a plan in place for each can be difficult at best. While you may not be able to predict when your time on earth will end, you might be able to prepare for what comes next by planning your estate, which may help ensure your wishes live on even after you are gone.

Placing a value on an estate's property

Although sometimes not discussed as much as it really should be, one of the most important legal issues that comes up in the estate administration process is the valuation of the property of the estate. Valuation is particularly important because putting the wrong value on a piece of property can mean the estate does not get divided correctly in accord with terms of the will or Texas law, as the case may be. Poor property valuation can also create tension between heirs and beneficiaries and even lead to litigation.

What is 'breach of fiduciary duty?'

Many of the relationships that this Houston, Texas legal blog mentions frequently are what the law calls "fiduciary relationships." To elaborate, guardians, executors of estates, attorneys in fact and trustees all have a fiduciary status, meaning that they have special legal obligations to another person or group even outside of a contract or other law.