Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Will the Balance of a Joint Bank Account Automatically Pass to My Spouse When I Die?

Most spouses have at least one joint bank account. Both spouses contribute to the account and can write checks or make withdrawals out of it. The fact that it is a joint account causes many to assume that when one spouse dies, the surviving spouse will automatically inherit the balance of the account. That is … Read More

Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

What happens if I die without a will in Texas? If you die without a Will in Texas, the Texas statutes will determine how your property will be divided. In other your property will be distributed in a manner set by the Texas statutes, which may conflict with the way you would chosen to have … Read More

The Top 10 Reasons Why You Need An Estate Plan

A recent survey found that approximately two-thirds of Americans don’t have a wills, and even fewer have power of attorneys or health care directives. Are you one of them? The survey suggests that the primary reasons why so few have Wills include: Procrastination Believing that getting a Will was not urgent Thinking they did not … Read More

What Will Happen To Your Facebook Account When You Die?

A friend from college died suddenly a couple of years ago. She was a healthy person, but contracted the flu and died from complications from it. A couple of months later, I received Facebook reminder that it was her birthday. Had I not been aware of her death, I may have absentmindedly sent an online … Read More

What is the Tax Consequence of Selling Property I Inherit or Receive As A Gift?

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a client whose elderly mother owned several pieces of real estate in an exclusive part of town. She had purchased the property decades ago for very little, but since then, the property had appreciated more than a hundredfold. She asked about the tax consequences of selling this highly … Read More

How Can I Protect an Inherited IRA from Creditors?

If you’re like most Americans, one of your largest assets is your Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”). Your IRA is considered a “retirement fund” and the money it contains is  protected from creditors who seek to recover debts in bankruptcy. An owner of an IRA can pass it down to a beneficiary when he or she dies … Read More