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Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives

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.

Heirs battle over estate of businessman who died intestate

In Texas, the death of a loved one is a traumatic time. This is compounded when the loved one had substantial assets and failed to take the necessary estate planning steps. Heirs and beneficiaries should think about how to deal with such a case, especially when there are blended families, divorces and children from different marriages.

How a dynasty trust can help preserve a Texan's assets

Texas families who have accrued significant wealth will want to take steps to ensure that their heirs retain as much of it as possible. The depletion of an estate is one of the biggest concerns that these families will have, so strategies to preserve assets, such as a dynasty trust are a wise consideration. Understanding how they work and other important facts about these devices is the first step toward deciding if it fits into an individual's estate planning strategy.

Protecting beneficiaries from taxes may require legal help

For Texas residents who are moving forward with estate planning and are seeking to ensure that their heirs and beneficiaries are cared for after their death, taxes should be considered when preparing for the future. This is true whether the estate is one of significant value, one of moderate value or one with limited assets. Given the fluid nature of the law under the current U.S. government and the uncertainty therein, it becomes even more critical to have a law firm that is experienced in preventing the tax-based depletion of an estate.

Estate planning when an heir might have addiction issues

Texans who are taking the necessary steps with estate planning will have different concerns depending on the circumstances. One issue that is growing problematic not just for society in general, but for those who are thinking about their beneficiaries, is drug addiction. The opioid crisis is something that is becoming a national epidemic and more and more people are thinking about this when they craft an estate plan. People who have heirs who they believe might already be involved in drugs or could be susceptible to the temptation should know how to account for this when they formulate their end of life documents.

An estate plan can help to preserve legacy

Often, Texans who are in the process of estate planning have concerns that go beyond the simple distribution of assets to their designated heirs. In some cases, they also want to preserve legacy. Legacy planning is a term that is frequently used along with or in lieu of estate planning, but it is all part of the process of creating a comprehensive document to suit a person's desires and needs. A problem that comes up with legacy planning is that it has certain perceptions that need to be overcome and facts to understand before adequately addressing the issues that are part of it.

The transfer on death deed

Relatively recently, the Texas Legislature gave the residents this state an additional option for transferring their home or other real estate without having to write up a will and force their beneficiaries to have to go through the probate process. This was a particularly helpful measure for those Houston, Texas residents who may own their own home but who may not have much more in the way of assets.

Estate planning and shielding heirs from themselves

Texans who are estate planning will have much to consider. One of the most common concerns for these individuals when planning distribution of assets to heirs is how to make certain that the heirs are not going to misuse what might be more assets than they have ever had before. Understanding various strategies to avoid this type of issue coming to pass is vital to a coherent and well-crafted estate plan that goes the way the testator wants it to go.

Preventing family fights over your estate

Watching your family grow and change, you may feel sad when you see the tensions that exist among your children, stepchildren or other family members. Perhaps you even anticipate that, after you leave this world, those tensions may become worse, especially if your heirs squabble over your estate. While it may be tempting to leave it all to fate, doing so may result in lifelong discord among your loved ones and bitterness directed at your memory.