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Estate planning Archives

Tom Petty's Estate Is Causing More Heartbreak

After passing away in October 2017, Tom Petty's estate has seen it's fair share of legal issues. The latest filed by Petty's two daughters, Adria Petty and Annakim Violette, who are beneficiaries under their father's trust. The daughters have now filed suit against Petty's widow, Dana York Petty, who is also the directing trustee of the trust. The claims allege that York Petty is superseding the daughters' right to "equal participation" in making decisions for the late singer's catalog. The daughters claim that the phrase "equal protection" in the trust agreement should be interpreted to mean they have a majority vote representing two-thirds of the parties to handle Petty's assets. 

Heirship Determination Proceeding

If an individual dies without a Will in Texas, an heirship proceeding must be filed in the probate court to determine the heirs of the estate. An individual interested in the estate would file an application to determine the heirs and to appoint an administrator of the estate if necessary. The court would then appoint an ad litem attorney to represent the unknown heirs of the estate. 

Why Is a Living Will Important?

A Living Will, or Directive to Physicians, is a legal document that informs emergency responders, physicians, and family members of your wishes in the event you require emergency or end-of-life medical care at a time you are unable to communicate your wishes. Your Living Will is signed by you and notarized while you have full capacity to execute the document. This estate planning tool can be as detailed or simple as you would like, but it often contains at least your preferences for either life-sustaining care or palliative care in the event you have a terminal or irreversible condition. 

Celebrities Who Die Without a Will

It is no surprise that every day individuals all over the country pass away without any estate plan in place, especially a Will. Conversely, it is often shocking that high-profile celebrities are dying without Wills, considering their high net worth and vast assets.

Is Your Estate Eligible for the Death Tax?

Although Texas does not enforce a state estate tax, also known as a death tax, if your taxable estate is worth over the lifetime exemption amount-$5.6 million for individuals in 2018-then your estate will be subject to the federal estate tax. And even though most Americans fall far below the tax's reach, the estate tax has been a point of contention throughout most presidential elections, as candidates often have differing views on its importance to our nation's economy.

Revocable Living Trust v. Will: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing between a revocable living trust and a will for your estate plan depends on your personal concerns and goals. The main difference between the two estate planning options is the necessity of probate. A will requires probate, which is a court-supervised process that administers your estate to your heirs and beneficiaries. On the other hand, a revocable living trust does not require the court-supervised probate process. Consequently, this option obtains more privacy by creating a trust agreement between the trust creator, or grantor, and the trust entity. The grantor often serves as the trustee, managing the property placed within the trust, until he or she dies and a successor trustee takes over, distributing trust property per the trust agreement.

Sending Your Kids Off to College? Have Them Sign These Two Forms

A medical power of attorney and a durable power of attorney are essential to any estate plan, although not considered by most adults until nearing retirement, but why are these documents also important for young adults? Once children turn eighteen, parents no longer have the authority to make health care or legal decisions for their children even if they are still footing the bills-college tuition, insurance, and the list goes on. Losing this authority means that if your child becomes disabled in an accident, you may need to seek court approval to act on your child's behalf.

3 considerations when updating an estate plan after divorce

Your estate plan is something that you can personalize as you see fit. Even if you already have an estate plan made, you must update that plan if you get a divorce. This ensures your loved ones know your wishes for when you can't convey them yourself. You probably know that you should divide up your assets when you make the plan. There are also many other things that you should consider when updating your estate plan after a divorce.

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