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
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
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
I’m an adult leader with our local Scouts. As you probably know, the motto of Scouting is “Be prepared.” This applies to your divorce, too. Why? Because of Standing Orders. Let me explain.
Standing Orders are orders that come into play immediately after a case is filed. Here in Rockwall County, ours are called “Rockwall County Standing Order Regarding Children, Property And Conduct Of The Parties.” That’s quite a mouthful, I know. Before you file for divorce, though, you need to read them. Carefully. You can here: Rockwall Standing Orders .
These orders are
With the advent of the internet, more and more people are trying to the “do it yourself” approach to law. In some simple areas, that approach may get the job done. However, in other areas, especially in drafting decrees of divorce, this can mean that you will live with totally unintended consequences.
Increasingly, we meet with people who drafted their own decrees of divorce, only to find that their decrees don’t say what they think that they said. Language in a decree regarding visits with your children, child support to be
If you’d like to use your time off over Thanksgiving getting starting on your estate planning, here is a link to a worksheet we provide our clients. You can simply fill it out and set up a time to meet with us to discuss your particular situation. We hope that you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.
This week of Thanksgiving, we here at The White Law Firm are giving thanks for all of you who voted for us as “Best Law Firm” in the 2015 Rockwall County Herald Banner poll. Once again, you selected us as the best law firm in Rockwall County, this time for the fourth year in a row. We cannot express how grateful we are to all of you. We pledge to work hard to keep your confidence in the coming year. In the meantime, we wish all of you a Happy
It is common for clients to bring us powers of attorney, wills, divorce decrees, and other documents that they have prepared themselves, with help from sources they have found on the internet. It is very rare that these forms are done well and even more rare that they actually meet all of the client’s needs. Here are some things to consider:
1. The laws of every state are different. What state’s laws were considered when that internet form was drafted? If it wasn’t Texas, then the odds that your form is
You should know that, if your case arises under the Texas Family Code, the odds are high that you will be ordered to go to mediation before you can proceed to trial. When this happens, you should have a basic idea of what mediation is, and what it is not. Mediation has the potential to be a great benefit to you and really has little, to no, downside.
Mediation is an informal process, facilitated by a mediator, designed to bring about a settlement of your case. Mediators are typically, but not
You have heard it said many times that, in a divorce, the Judge is just going to split things down the middle, so we might as well do that and move on. Well, hold on a second. You should know that the Texas Family Code allows the Court to award you what is called a “disproportionate share” of your community estate, under certain circumstances. That means you could get more than half of your marital property if you can show the Judge things like:
a. your spouse is at fault in