We were shocked to see that Aretha Franklin, an incredibly talented singer and a person who has certainly earned a lot of money during her lifetime, died without a will. The technical term for dying without a will is that she died intestate. When someone dies without a will, the laws of the state in which the deceased resided will likely be what determines how their assets pass and who will be in charge of making sure that deceased’s debts are paid and remaining assets distributed. In Texas, this process
One area where we see ongoing conflict after divorce is in the area of extracurricular activities. Before divorce, Bobby might have been very involved in Boy Scouts. Both parents cooperated in getting him to and from Troop meetings and campouts. However, after divorce, things change. Suddenly, the Troop meetings are on “my night” or are taking up “my time” with Bobby. And, although Bobby wants to go to Scouts, his parent entitled to possession on those nights stops bringing him. What can the other parent do?
In many cases, the answer
It’s Spring Break time in Rockwall, Texas. If you are divorced and have kids, you know what this means. It means that you need to get out your decree of divorce (you do know where it is, right?) and remind yourself who gets the kids this year. The Texas Family Code sets out what lawyers call a Standard Possession Order. Part of that Order says that, “[T]he possessory conservator shall have possession in even-numbered years” and the “managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years.” So,
Our local probate court regularly appoints me to serve as an attorney ad litem in guardianship cases. I normally see cases in which a family member is forced to seek to become the legal guardian for a parent who has become ill or infirm and is unable to care for themselves or take care of the business of daily life. That’s where I come in, as the court-appointed representative of the ill or infirm person, who is often suffering from dementia.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. A little
When we first meet a new or prospective client, we want to sit and talk with them for at least an hour or so. During that meeting, especially in divorce cases, we want to get a feel for the entire situation — not just the dollars and cents that need to be divided, but for how the marriage ended up where it is. We find that clients are quite willing to tell us the faults that they find in their spouse that led to the divorce. That is part of
Many times, we have new clients in divorce cases who have just been served with a divorce petition. Often, this is a shock to them. We understand how upsetting this can be. We urge you, though, not to let being served with divorce papers stun you so much that you do not take action. Time is now your enemy and you need to react appropriately.
Needless to say, we suggest that you consult with an attorney as soon as you can. We put a high priority on meeting with people who
Each week, if not each day, we speak with people here in Rockwall County who are struggling with one of life’s biggest decisions — should they file for divorce, or not? Whether or not to divorce is an intensely personal decision. It is not a decision that anyone else can make for a person. No lawyer or mental health professional can make that choice for someone else, nor should they pretend to do so.
In meetings with prospective divorce clients, we often say that we are not cheerleaders for divorce. This
A power of attorney should be a part of your estate plan. In Texas, the document most commonly used is referred to as a statutory, durable power of attorney. In this document, you can and should name a person (and at least one alternate) to serve as your agent to take care of your business matters, such as paying bills, filing taxes, making bank deposits, and other activities that are necessary in all of our lives.
Some people put off signing a power of attorney, because they are worried about losing
We are happy to welcome Tisa L. White to the firm. Tisa is graduate of the Texas Tech University School of Law, where she was a member of, and was published in, the Texas Tech Law Review. Tisa practiced litigation with Jackson Walker, L.L.P. upon graduating from law school and now is returning to active practice after taking time to care for her four children. Look for more about Tisa coming soon on our firm website.
What will you do if a parent or other loved one is diagnosed with a disease, like Alzheimer’s, that will destroy that person’s ability to make decisions? Who will make medical decisions for your mom, if she didn’t sign a medical power of attorney? Who will sign the necessary paperwork if dad must be moved into a memory care facility, if he didn’t sign a statutory durable power of attorney? What will happen to your parents’ estate if they didn’t sign wills?
If this situation arises, you need to act quickly.