Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Prepare for the Death of the Stretch IRA

No laws affecting retirement plans are final yet, but there are certain changes on the horizon that may require tweaks to your estate plans. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act recently passed the House with enormous bipartisan support (417-3!). If adopted by the Senate, it will significantly alter the way retirement … Read 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 or … Read More

Where there’s a Will…

A few weeks ago, a journalist emailed me to ask if she could interview me for an article she was writing. The article she wrote appeared in the Statesman 50ATX Guide for Young Boomers and Beyond. Below is the article as it appeared. You can also read the article online by clicking on the following … Read More

Can I Change My Will Before My Divorce is Final?

There is a Texas statute that prohibits Courts from entering any orders that prevent parties in a divorce proceeding from changing his or her Will. Section 253.001 of the Texas Estates Code provides that a Court may not prohibit a person from executing a new Will, executing a codicil or an existing Will, or revoking … Read More

Should I Name My Estate as the Beneficiary of my IRA?

A client was confused. He knew that the federal estate tax only applied to estates in excess of $11 million, so he didn’t understand why significant taxes were due on an IRA he inherited from a relative who did not have a large estate. After discussing the matter with him, I discovered that his relative … Read More

Avoiding Guardianship in Old Age

A few weeks ago, a client alerted me to an episode of the John Oliver show about guardianships gone wrong. A guardian is someone appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person who is unable to make responsible decisions regarding his or her daily affairs because of their age, disability, injury, or … Read More