Odds and Ends

Did the Texas Legislature Create a Back Door for the Creation of a Self-Settled Asset Protection Trust?

Trusts with spendthrift provisions protect assets from claims of creditors. The inclusion of a spendthrift provision in a trust provides the beneficiary with asset protection because it prevents the beneficiary or any other creditor from forcing a trustee to turn over trust assets to satisfy a judgment or a claim. Some states and foreign countries … Read More

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, according … Read 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 what … Read More

Can a Small Estate Affidavit Transfer Title to Homestead Property?

A small estate affidavit is a legal document that can be used to transfer property to heirs without a formal probate. Heirs can take advantage of this procedure only if: The deceased person died without a Will; At least 30 days have passed since the date of death; No person has filed an application to … Read More

Why Should My Will Include a Self-Proving Affidavit?

I received a note from someone last week who said he had gone to court for the purpose of probating his grandparents’ Wills. The Will was signed by his grandparents and two witnesses, but the Wills did not include a self-proving affidavit. As a result the judge advised that it was necessary for the witnesses … Read More

A Season of Peace

Texas is the home of a diverse population, so in addition to working with clients whose families have lived in Texas for generations, I’ve also had the privilege of working with families from all over the world. I’ve worked with clients from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South America. During our … Read More