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Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives

Handwritten wills create problems in probate court

At the heart of all probate litigation is the quest to uncover the intentions of the deceased. That person is no longer around to answer any questions or clear up any confusion, and so probate courts rely on a written will. This is why courts are so strict about making sure a will meets all the formal requirements before they will accept it as valid. It's also why some of the trickiest issues involve wills that are not entirely clear about the person's intentions.

Texas blended families have specific estate planning needs

There is no step by step guide for every estate plan in Texas or anywhere else. Since everyone's family situation is different, estate planning must reflect those differences. Some families might have significant assets and minor children. Others have a family business that requires intricate assessments as to how it will be passed along. Distribution of assets and determining beneficiaries could be complicated by internal disputes.

What is the difference between heirs and beneficiaries?

Though the terms heirs and beneficiaries are often used interchangeably, many Pennsylvania residents may not be aware that they have different legal meanings and implications. Understanding the difference between the two can help people understand their status is one's estate plan.

An estate plan lets people choose their own heirs

When we leave this earth, we leave things behind. Even if a Texas resident does not have children, they still have assets that need to be distributed among beneficiaries and if directions are not provided, the state will make the decision for the decedent. This means that emotionally close relatives may be neglected in favor of biologically close relatives and beloved pets may end up in shelters. To avoid this, engaging in estate planning, regardless of one's life situation, is essential.

Review heirs and beneficiaries after a divorce

The new tax laws set to come into effect on January 1, 2019, caused a lot of people, including Houston residents, to finalize their divorces before the new year set in. under the new law, the payor can no longer deduct alimony and the receiver is no longer obligated to pay tax on it. Anyone whose divorce has been finalized recently should consider this the right time to update their estate plan. This also applies to anyone who has not reviewed their estate plan after separating from a spouse.

Living wills are an important estate planning document

While many are advised to create a will to ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes after they pass away, Houston residents may not be aware that there are different categories of wills. Living wills are one of those types and it might be an option for someone to avail if they want to leave directions for loved ones and medical care providers in case they are facing a life-threatening situation.

No need to contest a validly created will with our help

The death of a loved one sends a Texas resident on an emotional and stressful journey. Family members have to go through the decedent's belongings and plan their funeral all while coming to terms with their own grief. If the decedent had not outlined their own wishes for how their funeral should take place and their assets distributed, it can trigger another stressful time in the lives of the heirs.

What are the legal requirements to contest a will?

When someone creates a will, it is assumed that it is valid and should be legally binding, as it is supposed to contain the wishes of the decedent. This is why legal challenges to the validity of the will, known as a will contest, are often thrown out of the court unless they meet stringent legal requirements.