Planning for Special Circumstances

The Characterization of Property in Texas

I have written before that the characterization of property as separate or community dictates who inherits property when a married person dies without a Will in Texas.  It also affects which property you can dispose of in a Will at your death. But how does one distinguish between which property is community and separate? The … Read More

Can I Sign My Will Electronically in Texas?

UPDATE: On April 8, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an order temporarily allowing regular notaries to notarize the following documents by video conference: durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, directives to physicians, and self-proving affidavits for Wills. Please note, however, that the order does NOT eliminate the requirements for witnesses to be physically present. … Read More

How to Sign Estate Planning Documents in a Pandemic

UPDATE: On April 8, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an order temporarily allowing regular notaries to notarize the following documents by video conference: durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, directives to physicians, and self-proving affidavits for Wills. Please note, however, that the order does NOT eliminate the requirements for witnesses to be physically present. … Read More

Planning for a Pandemic

My children asked me yesterday how many times in my life the world has dealt with a pandemic like COVID-19. I couldn’t think of any other. COVID-19 Has Caused Significant Disruption In the past, we’ve had illnesses like Swine Flu and Ebola that have affected isolated communities; however, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any … Read More

Will Transferring My Homestead to a Revocable Trust Prevent Me From Qualifying For Medicaid?

Medicaid is a means-tested benefit that provides health insurance for Americans with limited financial resources and income. To be eligible for Medicaid coverage, applicants can have no more than $2,000 in countable resources. However, not all assets owned by an individual are countable. There are certain assets that Medicaid excludes when it considers an applicant’s … Read More

Will Distributions from ABLE Account for Food or Shelter Reduce SSI Benefits?

The monthly maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for 2020 are $783 for an eligible individual, $1,175 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. If you are a family member or friend of someone who is receiving SSI, you already know that helping them pay for necessities of life, such as rent, mortgage, food, … Read More