Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill

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Posts tagged "Probate Litigation"

Avoid estate litigation by picking the right will executor

Executors have many responsibilities. Some of them include selling your property, filing lawsuits on your behalf, paying creditors, distributing assets and reviewing medical records. Not everyone is an ideal candidate to be the executor of an estate. The person has to be trustworthy, take their role seriously and also be able to act on your behalf in a legal capacity once you're gone.

Common reasons that people may challenge a will

During people's lifetimes in Texas, people will acquire various property or acquire money which may be held in bank accounts, investment accounts and other places. People acquire these assets in order to maintain a certain lifestyle while they are living. However, all of these assets are only useful to them while they are living. After they pass away they cannot take it with them. This means that they must leave it behind with their family or other people that are close to them.

Evidence needed to contest a will

There are many things that people in Texas try to plan for in life. In many situations, having a plan makes things go smoother. One situation when making a plan is wise is when determining where a person's possessions will go when they pass away. This is important to plan for and many people fail to do so.

Tragic death of parents leaves an estate in turmoil

A few months ago, the lives of a wealthy businessman and his wife of almost 60 years ended tragically when the man killed both his wife and himself. Now, probate litigation is threatening to prolong these tragic circumstances for months or even years.

Johnny Cash's estate sues to stop use of famous names

In our last post, we wrote about the general fiduciary duties of executors and administrators in dealing with the assets of the decedent. Now, two of the most famous names in American show business are involved in an estate lawsuit brought by the trustee of a family trust that is intended to prohibit the use of those names. While the bar in question is located in Illinois, the names of the two singing stars involved in this lawsuit are known throughout Texas, and the legal basis of the lawsuit is based on laws that are the same in Texas as in Illinois.

Challenging the validity of a will in Texas probate court

Most Texas wills are valid and sail through the probate court without a hitch. Every so often, however, a relative may disagree with the bequests in the will and decide to challenge the validity of the will. A will challenge is perhaps the most contentious form of probate litigation because it often pits one family member against another. For large estates, however, the challenge could be worth thousands or even millions of dollars. The grounds for a successful challenge are not especially complicated.

A valid will in one state might be invalid in another

When creating a will, many people do not realize what might be valid in one state might not be valid in another. Understanding the different types of wills one can create gives individuals different options for distributing their wealth and assets while also ensuring one's will is enforceable wherever they live.

What happens in probate?

Probate has many misconceptions. While many Texas residents may think that probate litigation only takes place if someone has died without a will, this is not the case-probate actually involves the authentication of a will, if it was made, locating and valuing assets, paying the descendant's final bills and taxes and distributing one's assets. If the descendent did not leave a will, his or her bills still need to be paid and the estate distributed, which will take place during probate.

We handle probate matters from the start to the end

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.