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
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
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