As mentioned previously on this blog, creating a comprehensive estate plan that covers both one's end-of-life decisions and steps to be taken after one's demise is an important step for Houston residents to take this year. Powers of attorneys are used to make essential financial and healthcare decisions if one is unable to do so. Additionally, one can avoid a situation where a conservator has to be legally appointed if they have a power of attorney in place. Similarly, having a will in place avoids the probate process.
Posts tagged "Probate Litigation"
Thinking about one's demise is difficult, and contemplating what would happen if one becomes incapacitated is even more troubling. However, having a plan in place for what should take place in case one is unable to make important financial and medical decisions for oneself is an important step Houston residents should take, as it can avoid a situation where the court has to appoint a conservator. A conservator is only appointed if there are no durable powers of attorney for finances and medical decisions.
Right after a Houston resident has lost a loved one, they inevitably go through a period of mourning in which they remember the good times they shared with the deceased. The last thing they need to find out at that time is that they have either been left out of a will or that the decedent died without a will. If someone finds out they have been left out of a will, what should they do?
Texans and people across the nation are well-advised to have a comprehensive estate plan. This is necessary to avoid a legal dispute between heirs and to ensure that the assets go where the testator wants. The pitfalls of a perceived failure to do this can be found in cases where a wealthy and famous person dies and had a blended family. Those who believe they should inherit certain items in the estate or be in control of a trust will frequently end up embroiled in a dispute that can take time and significant resources to settle. Such is the case with the late actor Alan Thicke.
Probate in Texas can be a complex matter and the type of will that the testator had is a major part of that. A legal dispute regarding a will's validity can hinder the attempts to move forward with the probate process. It can also lead to the challenging of a will and estate litigation. Understanding the circumstances under which certain wills can be deemed valid and how this can be done may require legal help from an experienced probate attorney.
Texas residents who are unsure as to whether they even need an estate plan should bear in mind public disagreements over estates of people who have died, especially those who had significant portfolios and can continue making money after they have died. While the last thing that heirs want to think about after a loved one has died is a legal dispute and ongoing court battle, it is imperative to consider the implications of the failure to have a comprehensive estate plan. This is true for a prospective testator who is unsure of the value of a valid will and for those who are embroiled in a dispute after the person has died. Having legal assistance with probate litigation is vital regardless of the situation.
When a loved one dies in Texas, heirs or prospective heirs who believe there is an issue with the decedent's will often want to move forward with a legal dispute over the document. There can be a variety of reasons for this. What is important, however, is knowing the law when it comes to wills. There are several situations in which challenging a will can come about. Will formation and its requirements are key to having a valid will. If there is a problem in one or more of these areas, then it could be the foundation for a challenge.
Texans preparing for the future have well-crafted estate plans, focused on assets that are obvious, like a home, financial accounts, vehicles and similar items. However, estate litigation often arises not over the big-ticket items, but also for personal property and items of sentimental value. To avoid a court battle and unwanted bickering, testators should consider distributing property in a way that will account for these pieces of property.
To demonstrate the best reason to create a good estate plan, one need only look at what happens to estates after a person passes away without one. There is perhaps no better such cautionary tale today than the continuing saga of the Prince estate and the probate litigation surrounding it.
Like other types of court cases, a Texas court can, either at the suggestion of one of the parties involved or on its own, order those who are engaged in probate litigation to go through mediation. Although mediation is not appropriate for every case, it does often help families who are fighting over a will or trust come to some resolution and healing without having to undergo the time and expense of a trial.