Licensed to practice law in Tex as since 1992, Joseph P. Montalbano handl es civil matters in Harris, Galveston, a nd Brazoria Counties. Call 281-488-1656
Operating as usual
Why you should have a wi ll prepared by an attorney:
Esta te planning is personal. You should ha ve an attorney that understands your circumstanc es, objectives, and concerns. It is unlike ly you will find that level of attenti on by utilizing some of the popul ar online sites and software titles th at offer preparation of estate planning documen ts. While some of these "self-he lp" wills I encounter are acceptable to a degr ee, most are deficient and others a re not drafted with Texas law in mi nd.
Texas Estate Planning - Wills vs Livi ng Trusts
I get calls frequently from clien ts who want a living trust f or their estate planning. My first questi on to them is why? Comm on replies will be "to avoid proba te" or "I saw it on an informerci al" or "the internet article I re ad recommends it."
In basic terms, assuming t he estate is non-taxable (less than $5.4 5M for 2016), implementing a will as t he primary estate planning tool in Tex as is the preferred choice over establishi ng and maintaining a living trust. n ot to mention much less expensive in setti ng up.
Most folks I spe ak with in this regard are misinform ed in that they want the livi ng trust so they can avoid proba te. In several other states, proba te is an expensive process and utilizi ng a living trust is a go od idea. But, in Texas, if y ou have a well-drafted will appointing an independe nt executor, probate is realtively simple a nd inexpensive.
I will recommend usi ng a living trust when a Tex as client owns real estate in anoth er state as a way to sa ve on the cost of an ancilla ry or secondary probate in that oth er jurisdiction. There are some oth er valid reasons to consider a livi ng trust, for sure, in Texas a nd we certainly have a discussion abo ut the merits of the same, b ut most clients end up with a simp le will which achieves their objectives ju st fine.
So before you go to Leg al Zoom, purchase a self-help estate planni ng program from Office Depot, or b uy a living trust package from Su ze Orman and other financial advisors in t he media, as a Texas resident, y ou should consult with me or oth er Texas counsel in this regard.
CONSIDER GETTING A WILL IN 2016 if y ou do not already have one. If y ou die without leaving a will, y ou risk that your property will n ot be distributed as you desire - distributi on would be determined by the Tex as Estates Code, taking into account t he characterization of your estate as separa te and/or community property or both. Ev en when the heirs at law a re the same as you would ha ve selected yourself, there is no advanta ge to letting the law take i ts own course. The advantage lies in dyi ng with a will. With a well-draft ed will you can avoid legal pitfal ls, name an executor of your esta te, name a guardian for your min or children, establish trusts, and minimize probate-relat ed costs by providing for independent administrati on. Sure, although a will can be challeng ed in court, the grounds for conte st in Texas are few and, in mo st cases, an uphill battle. A Tex as court will favor carrying out t he decedent’s intent.
More justification to have a wi ll, even if you own property a nd accounts as a joint tenancy (applicab le material after the fence question).
A second fence is best defen se against neighbor’s dogged threat Houston Chronicle
Most times, a simple will c an achieve your estate planning objectives. B ut in some cases, a revocable livi ng trust can also be a usef ul part of your estate scheme. http://www.texaswillsandtrustslaw.com/2011/09/19/when-should-i-use-a-revocable-trust/
Wills vs. Living Trusts — Tex as Wills and Trusts Online Texas attorney Rania Combs describes situatio ns in which living trusts can be an advantageo us estate planning tool.
Good article about the pitfalls of usi ng a discount online provider of wil ls. http://www.texaswillsandtrustslaw.com/2010/01/27/the-problem-with-legalzoom-and-other-do-it-yourself-estate-planning-solutions/
The Problem with LegalZoom — Tex as Wills and Trusts Law Online Texas attorney Rania Combs explains w hy do-it-yourself legal solutions such as LegalZo om aren’t necessarily the cost-conscious solution th ey appear to be.
New tax laws improve estate optio ns [...] all of the estate t ax laws that were in effect in 2012 we re essentially unchanged by the New Year 's deal in Washington, except that t he estate tax rate rose to 40 perce nt from 35 percent. Portability is a w ay for married taxpayers to save tax es. [...] 2010, if a pers on with a taxable estate ...
NEXT TIME YOU ARE INJURED IN A B AR FIGHT... With all due respect to th is woman who was injured, just rememb er the next time you are in a b ar fight and are assaulted by a patr on wielding a Budweiser "longneck" glass be er bottle, this case, Gann v. Anheuser-Bus ch, Inc. and Falls Distributing, says y ou cannot hold the maker of t he bottle liable under theories of stri ct products liability, negligence, and breach of warran ty for your injuries.
Texas Lawyer - Gann v. Anheuser-Bus ch, Inc. and Falls Distributing Texas Lawyer state and regional resourc es provide you with local and nation al news, cases and developments.
Texas Probate Passport” has been prepar ed to inform the public regarding: (1) what happens legally to the property
of a person when he or s he dies with a will or witho ut a will (see tab entitled “ To Will or Not to Will”); a nd (2) how
the probate process works.
Home Contact a Houston divorce attorney fr om Conner & Lindamood, P.C. Call o ur Texas law office at (713) 654-21 12.
The Texas Series LLC is rapid ly becoming a preferred vehicle for re al estate investors. Series LLCs allow t he individual forming them to create sever al distinct entities and receive all of t he benefits of multiple Limited Liability Compani es, with only one filing. Ca ll me for more information.
Joseph Montalbano | LinkedIn View Joseph Montalbano's professional profile on Linked In. LinkedIn is the world's large st business network, helping professionals like Jose ph Montalbano discover inside connections to recommend ed job candidates, industry experts, and busine ss partners.
Starting a Small Business? Consid er the type of entity that wou ld be good for you. Among t he factors to weigh: organization costs; leg al formality; continuity; transferability of interest; manageme nt / ownership; liability; and tax consequenc es.
Kenneth R First, MD Kenneth R First, MD, Arm, Elb ow, Foot and Ankle, Hand and Wri st, Hip, Knee, Shoulder, Surgeon, orthopedic surge ry, Arthritis, Arthroscopic Surgery, Disability, Joint Replaceme nt, Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine, Trauma/Fractures, Sonorex Treatme nt Center, Houston, TX
Webster Dentist | Michael G. Moo re DDS | Dentist Webster TX 77598 Dr. Michael Moore provides a wi de variety of family and cosmetic dentist ry services for both children and adul ts in the area of Clear La ke at their Webster location.
Monarch Reporting - About Monarch Reporting, Inc. is a Tex as Corporation founded in 1995. Its indust ry associations include National Court Reporters Associati on, Texas Court Reporters Association, Houston Cou rt Reporters Association, and Bay Area Cou rt Reporters Association. Gail Swisher Patrenella, fi rm owner/reporter, has ...
Niday Funeral Home Our mission is to serve t he families in our community with t he utmost care and concern, dedication, compassi on and professionalism. Since 1961, famili es have turned to us in tim es of need the way they wou ld turn to any close and trust ed friend. Our tradition of service a nd our deep connection withi...
Good folks here...
Houston Commercial Real Estate Brokers | Za nn Commercial Brokerage, Inc. Houston Based Commercial Real Estate Consulta nt Group of specialized Real Estate Broke rs. Zann Commercial Brokerage is a locat ed in the Clear Lake area of Houst on. We provide assistance with leasing, search es for company office space, income proper ty acquisition, raw land, retail leasing a nd sites, ...
I have seen this first ha nd. I do not recommend livi ng trusts here in Texas
A good referral for me wou ld be: a young family who nee ds estate planning. Specifically, a husband a nd wife should have wills which conta in contingent trusts for their young childr en. In addition, consideration should be giv en to preparing appropriate powers of attorn ey and the directive to physician (livi ng will) for the spouses.
This just in: You must ha ve a license plate on your fro nt bumper to be legal.
Texas Lawyer Blog: CCA: license plat es must be on foremost part or fro nt of vehicle (aka front bumpe For motorists unsure where to pla ce the front license plate on the ir vehicles, the Texas Court of Crimin al Appeals has the answer. In i ts 7-2 decision in Spence v. Sta te, the CCA concluded that “the pla in language of the Texas...
Non-Travis County probate lawyers:when fili ng in Travis County on uncontested dock et, be sure to read Judge Herman 's guide found on the court's websi te. Good stuff to aid in a ll of your uncontested filings.
Travis County, Texas, Probate Court This site will look much bett er in a browser that supports W eb standards, but it is accessible to a ny browser or Internet device.
Business owners: do you need he lp with the collection of a de bt or judgment? Give me a ca ll and I will be happy to asse ss your case quickly and concisely.
Good brief explanation of the Tex as probate system. Probate is not as b ad here as it is in oth er jurisdictions. Call me if you or someo ne you know needs to probate a lov ed one's will.
A primer on probate: Here's wh at to expect | Business | Chron.com - Houst on Chronicle The information in this column is n ot intended as legal advice but to provi de a general understanding of the l aw. Readers with legal problems, including tho se whose questions are addressed here, shou ld consult attorneys for advice on the ir particular circumstances.
Sanders Estate-Tax Proposal Would Hit Wealt hy Harder - WSJ.com Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders a nd three Senate Democrats Thursday proposed an estate-t ax plan that would hit wealthier taxpaye rs harder than another proposal on t he table.
Medical Service Providers: If y ou have experienced difficulty in collecting fr om health insurance companies, I can he lp you in that regard. T he claim is based upon a brea ch of contract for failing to prompt ly and accurately pay for services render ed and for statutory penalties and intere st. If you need my assistan ce or know of someone who m ay, please refer them my way f or more information.
Debt settlement companies are cashing in | Busine ss | Chron.com - Houston Chronic le PALM BEACH, Fla. — For t he companies that promise relief to America ns confronting swelling credit card balances, the se are days of lucrative opportunity.
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