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September 2018 Archives

Executor duties series: Maintenance and protection of assets

The duties of an executor of a will span far and wide. Most individuals who agree to carry out these tasks when the time comes have no idea what all will be required of them. Accordingly, we are going to break it down for you step-by-step in our new series, Executor Duties.

A step-by-step guide to the probate process

Upon a decedent's passing, a petition for probate must be drafted and filed with the probate court in the proper jurisdiction, which can generally be determined as the decedent's county of residence for the last six months of his or her life. Though each state possesses its own set of probate rules, the general process of estate administration remains universally the same.

A child's addiction complicates your estate plan

There are probably few in Texas who are not aware that the nation is in the midst of a substance abuse epidemic. Some studies show that 142 people suffer from a fatal overdose each day, and countless others struggle with their addiction. Of course, the sorrows and pain of addiction affect more than just the person with the addiction. Families and loved ones frequently suffer along with the addict.

Tips for locating missing heirs and beneficiaries

When entering into probate administration, an executor may not always know the location or even the identity of a named heir or designated beneficiary. Sometimes family members may have been missing or estranged for a number of years prior to the decedent's death. Since the location and notification of those individuals is part of the executor duties, it can become a very time consuming and frustrating process. Allow us to give you a few tips that may assist in your search.

What constitutes a valid will in the state of Texas?

There are three types of wills recognized as valid by the state of Texas, and all have two mutual requirements. The testator must be at least 18-years-old, and he or she must be deemed to have a sound mind. This means that a general, valid will is based on the wishes of a party who is operating at full mental capacity and is fully aware of and capable of making such decisions. The age requirement does not apply if the testator is legally married or if he or she is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. However, there are a few differing requirements among other types of wills.