Will a Joint Account Pass to the Surviving Owner Outside of Probate?

The way multiple party account pass after the death of a joint account holder is determined by statute. Multiple party accounts that are held with rights of surivivorship pass to the surviving without the need for probate; however, simply checking a box indicating “Right of Survivorship” may not be sufficient to create that relationship, accordingRead More

Is A Fill-In-The-Blank Will Valid in Texas?

John was just about to go on vacation and wanted to have a Will in place in case a tragic accident occurred. So, he did what many Americans do: he searched for a Will form online. He really didn’t have time to read up on what makes a Will valid in Texas. He had lessRead More

How Can I Protect My Disabled Sister From Neglectful Family Members?

I received a heartbreaking letter from someone concerned that her 60 year old old sister, who was in a terrible accident a year ago that left her disabled, was being neglected by her sons and the man she lives with. Apparently, she currently resides in a dilapidated structure with no running water. She wondered whatRead More

Is an Attorney Absolutely Required for Estate Planning?

I received a new client application requesting information about how to set up a power of attorney and Will. The person who submitted the application said she was doing so on behalf of an uncle who was so ill and incapacitated that he could not sign anything. He had not previously executed a Will orRead More

Do I Have to Name My Children as Medical Power of Attorney?

She had two adult children, but her niece was more like a daughter to her. Her niece was also a nurse, who she believed would be better suited to make medical decisions on her behalf. “Can I appoint appoint her instead of my children?” she asked. If you have not executed a Medical Power ofRead More

Will a Gift I Make To My Married Child Be Community Property?

A very generous father contacted me over the weekend. He wanted to buy a house for his son, but was concerned that the house would become community property because his son was married. He wondered if there was a way he could ensure that the gift to his son was classified as separate property. InRead More