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Harlingen Estate Law Blog

Debunking common myths about wills and probate

Estate plans are documents that should constantly evolve throughout your life. Major life events, such as marriage or divorce, often require you to change your listed beneficiaries. Additionally, if you remarry, then you want to make sure you do not make the mistake of disinheriting your children in your will. 

Many people assume that it will be obvious where their assets go after their deaths. However, Texas has strict laws about how to create estate planning documents, such as wills. It is vital to separate fact from fiction, so you can do the right thing for your family and know where your assets will end up. 

Options to bypass probate

When loved ones pass, there are both emotional and financial hurdles you must face. If that loved one has an estate plan in place, it can be helpful during such a trying time.

Though most estates must undergo the probate process, it is possible to employ a few tactics to avoid it. Doing so can be quite beneficial in several different scenarios.

3 provisions young parents should have in their estate plans

Once you become a parent, you typically stop being your own first priority and instead start to consider your child’s needs ahead of your own. While this holds true with regard to finances, housing situations and so on, it also applies to your estate plan. If you have recently become a parent and you do not have an estate plan, now is a great time to create one. If you already have one in place, know that this is a great time to update it.

Typically, today’s young parents want to make sure that their estate plans address at least three key areas. If you are drafting or updating yours, make sure it addresses:

Choosing your power of attorney wisely

A proper estate plan is important to determining the distribution of a party's assets. However, the right estate plan in the wrong hands can still spell trouble.

Selecting the party who will fulfill your wishes for you when you are not able to is not a decision to take lightly. There are a few key considerations to make sure you choose your power of attorney wisely.

The basics of probate

Administering a loved one's will can seem stressful. Not only do you have grief at the loss to deal with, but now you have the responsibility of ensuring things get done according to the wishes he or she left behind.

Probate may seem scary if you do not know how the process works. Going through probate is not quick, but it does not have to drag either. Understanding the basic process may help you when going through it for the first time.

Who should you name as executor?

Creating a will is one of the most important estate planning tasks you can accomplish. Not only does this tool allow you to decide how to distribute your assets among your beneficiaries, but you also get to choose an individual to manage your estate after you die. 

Choosing the right person to be the executor of your will is paramount to ensuring probate goes as smoothly as possible. Here are a few guidelines to help you designate the right person for this role. 

Should you set up a special needs trust?

Estate planning is not only a way to determine what happens to your assets, but it also provides you with opportunities to help your beneficiaries. If you have a beneficiary with a disability, you may need to consider more than just a will or standard trust.

special needs trust is a way to ensure your beneficiary remains eligible for government assistance while also receiving an inheritance. Here are some important facts to know about setting up a special needs trust.

What is an irrevocable and revocable trust?

When creating an estate plan in the Harlingen area, one can use a variety of provisions to protect assets, such as trusts. Trusts not only allow you to minimize probate court’s involvement, but you can also use them to prevent your loved ones from mismanaging your assets. Two common types of trusts that many people use in estate planning are irrevocable and revocable trusts. The rules governing them vary. When structured properly, irrevocable and revocable (living) trusts can provide many benefits for a testator’s estate while she or he is living and long after she or he dies. 

Revocable and irrevocable trusts have specific purposes. More than intent is necessary to structure them properly. To ensure your estate plan gains full benefits, take some time to review the main differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts

5 tips for becoming the perfect executor

The unexpected demise of your Uncle Harry not only left you with a feeling of sadness, but also with questions related to his will.

Uncle Harry named you as his executor, and you were proud to take on the task. However, you have never done this before, and you want to do a good job. Here are five tips for doing just that.

The difference between a durable and medical power of attorney

Estate planning is a complex process that entails more than just writing a will. You may not understand all the terms the court uses as you determine which plans you need, causing you to feel overwhelmed.

Understanding definitions is the first step in ensuring your plans match and cover all your needs. Two such terms you need to be able to differentiate are durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney.

Mccullough & Mccullough

Serving South Texas For Three Generations

Office Location

323 E. Jackson Street
Harlingen, TX 78550

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