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Harlingen Estate Law Blog

What does breach of fiduciary duty mean in estate administration?

The purpose of an estate plan is to ensure the proper handling of a decedent's or incapacitated person's assets. When an appointed person does not fulfill relevant duties or, worse, mismanages the assets for personal gain, it is a breach of fiduciary duty.

Understanding the laws concerning a breach can help you determine if it applies to the estate management of a loved one so you can take corrective legal action against the violator.

How to establish a guardianship in Texas

An important aspect of estate planning to consider is guardianship. It is not only relevant to those with minor children or adult children with special needs. It can also be relevant to you if you become incapacitated and want to ensure the right person is making medical and/or financial decisions for you.

The most straightforward way is to name the person you want to become guardian in your will (and even naming anyone whom you do not want). However, if you do not do this, the legal process for appointing a guardianship if necessary is as follows.

What information should you provide in your medical directive?

A medical directive is a document that outlines your wishes with regard to health care. It provides direction to medical professionals regarding your treatment in the event you are unable to speak communicate. In addition to giving physicians an idea about your treatment preferences, medical directives can also help your family make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

What you decide to ultimately include on your medical directive is a personal matter, and will likely differ from what, say, your husband, wife or close friend will include on theirs. However, there are some common items many people choose to:

How power of attorney differs from conservatorship & guardianship

At some point in your life, there may come a time when someone asks you to serve as a fiduciary, someone with some type of decision-making power, on their behalf. Different roles might include that of a power of attorney, a guardian or a conservator. Understanding the distinctions between them can help you better understand your position and the types of responsibilities that might come with it.

If someone you love wants you to be able to make decisions on his or her behalf, you may be able to do so if they give you power of attorney. You may also be able to do so if you serve as a guardian or conservator, although there is an important distinction: the elder or otherwise incapacitated person names his or her own power of attorney, while a court appoints someone a guardian or conservator.

Things to consider when choosing a legal guardian for your child

If you have minor children and are beginning the estate planning process, you should think about guardianship. Your children should have a legal guardian in the event you die while they are still minors. You might have trouble deciding between family members and friends. How do you choose the right person?Everyone has their pros and cons, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind. Read below for some things to consider while choosing a guardian for your children.

1. Location

What can an estate executor do without court involvement?

Establishing a will or trust is imperative if you want to provide for your loved ones and prevent the hassle of probate after you pass. Part of planning your estate will entail designating the beneficiaries, trustees and executor. The latter of these—an executor—is responsible for distributing the property of the decedent. There are many other duties an executor will have, too, as part of the position.

You might wonder, though, what the parameters of this power are. There are many actions an executor may take without involvement or intervention from a court. Acquiring legal counsel from an attorney, however, may help executors avoid costly mistakes.

3 strategies for avoiding probate in Texas

As you begin to plan for the future of your estate, you may be worried about the thought of probate. While probate is not inherently evil, you might want to reduce the amount of your estate that goes through it. The costs and time involved with probate can put a lot of stress on your heirs. You may also not be a fan of the loss of privacy and control of the process.

You might have a lot of questions about avoiding probate and implementing the best estate plan. Keep reading for the best tactics for avoiding or reducing probate for your estate.

Understanding the duties of an executor

When drafting a will in Texas, appointing an executor is an important task requiring careful thought. If you do not appoint an executor, the court may appoint someone to oversee your estate. However, choosing the right executor in advance can help ensure your wishes are followed when the time comes to distribute the estate.

Once a will comes to probate, the court must officially appoint the named executor before he or she can begin carrying out legal duties. In most cases, unless challenged, this appointment tends to be routine.

Understanding the terms of a guardianship

There are many factors that may lead you to seek control over a family member's affairs. If your parents are aging or becoming senile and it is too late to invoke power of attorney, you may consider a guardianship as an alternative solution. This is ideal for situations in which you need to oversee medical care and finances, too. Whether you are seeking to serve as guardian for a parent or another family member, you should know the following facts before you decide to pursue a guardianship.

Important considerations when choosing an executor

An estate plan is set up to ensure that after you pass away, the distribution of your assets and belongings is how you intended. Once you have an estate plan set up, you need an executor to oversee the dispositions of your possessions and property, but who should you choose to handle this extensive task?

An executor may be tasked with continuing necessary payments, paying income taxes, wrapping up your final affairs and even contacting those who stand to inherit in your will. The executor should be someone who you trust implicitly.

Mccullough & Mccullough

Serving South Texas For Three Generations

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323 E. Jackson Street
Harlingen, TX 78550

Phone: 956-320-1320
Fax: 956-423-4976
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