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Will disputes may cause complications for Texas residents

It is not uncommon for surviving family to face conflict after the death of a loved one. In many cases, parties may feel the need to dispute the decedent's will due to concerns over the contents and intentions of that document. When such disputes arise, it is likely that the concerned parties will go through litigation in order to have the issues formally addressed.

Texas residents may be interested in such a dispute currently underway in another state. Reports indicated that the widow and mother of a deceased man have been in conflict over the late man's will due to the mother having been removed from it. The mother wants to obtain a copy of an earlier version of the will in order to review the contents. However, the man's wife believes her mother-in-law has no right to the previous will.

Agreement reached in siblings' probate dispute

The relationship between a set of siblings can vary. While many siblings argue, in most cases they ultimately love each other and would do anything to help one another. The last thing that most parents in Texas would want is for their death to spark a dispute among their children. While it won't always prevent a probate dispute, careful estate planning can help surviving relatives understand a parent's wishes.

Unfortunately, a will did not prevent two out-of-state siblings from becoming involved in an estate dispute. In fact, a recent agreement ended a legal dispute that has lasted for over seven years. The case involved a brother and sister battling over their father's estate. The father's estate included Jarmoc Farms Tobacco, a farm that sells approximately $2 million of tobacco each year. At the time of his death, the estate was listed as having $5 million in assets and only $100 in debt, but the estate is currently listed as having $7 million in debt and only $2.8 million in assets.

Family dispute over Bobby Vee's trust

Families in Texas often struggle with conflict under the best of circumstances. In times of grief or turmoil, conflict can often be magnified. Unfortunately, the family of Bobby Vee, an American singer, are embroiled in a battle over his and his wife's estate. As a result, two of his children are asking that the other two be removed as trustees of the estate's trust.

The two plaintiffs in the case claim that two of their brothers are mishandling the estate. Court papers indicate that the plaintiffs believe that the defendants are using money from the estate for their personal benefit. They also accuse their brothers of using estate money on a production facility and recording facility called Rockhouse Productions. While Rockhouse was established by Bobby Vee and his wife, it is currently run by the children who are named defendants in the case; the company is also named as a defendant.

Deceased senator's wife, sons argue over his will

Families can often be complicated, especially blended families. While many are able to seamlessly come together without conflict, others are unable to do so. In some cases, relationships that were previously devoid of conflict may fall apart after the death of the loved one who tied the family together. In order to ensure family harmony, many people in Texas create a will describing their wishes in regard to estate administration and distribution of assets.

Unfortunately, there are some situations where a family member may decide to challenge the contents of a will. If it is believed that someone else placed undue influence on a testator, a legal challenge may be filed in probate court. Such is the case involving the sons and widow of U.S. Senator Fred Thompson as they battle over his will.

Making decisions regarding a guardianship in Texas

In a perfect world, all people would create estate planning documents that detail who will make medical and financial decisions on their behalf in the event that they become unable to make such decisions. However, even when a person does have such documents in place, they may be out of date or no longer applicable for a variety of reasons. As a result, families in Texas often find themselves seeking guardianship of a relative.

There are two different types of guardianships, and in each case, the person being served by the guardian is called the ward. A guardian of the person makes decisions regarding the ward's personal well-being. This includes deciding where the ward will live and making medical decisions.

Circumstances that could warrant a trust in Texas

Parents want to ensure that their children are cared for when they are no longer around to make such assurances themselves. For many parents, one of their goals in life is to leave an inheritance for their children that will protect their offspring financially. However, there are some situations that may prompt Texas parents to create special stipulations through a trust, rather than handing over an inheritance outright.

There are a variety of situations in which parents can use trusts to protect their children. For example, many people with disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome receive government benefits. Often, an inheritance can jeopardize a disabled person's qualifications for such benefits, prompting many parents to establish a special needs trust that can ensure that the child receives the care he or she needs throughout life without impacting government benefits.

New Year's resolutions often include estate planning

When most people think of New Year's resolution, they think of how much time they will spend at the gym or the new diet they will attempt. However, some estate planning professionals would like people to focus on creating an appropriate plan for their estate to protect their assets and ensure that provisions are in place for loved ones. For those in Texas who have already gone through the process, resolutions may be centered more toward revising an existing plan.

A person's life is bound to change over the years, making it necessary to make changes to an estate plan. For example, a divorce, remarriage or addition of a child to the family often prompt people in Texas to re-evaluate how they want their assets to be divided upon their death. Additionally, a person may wish to change who will be making financial and medical decisions in the event he or she becomes unable to make such decisions. As time passes, relationships change, potentially prompting revisions.

The importance of estate planning for new parents in Texas

New parents have many things on their minds. For most in Texas, their goals are often focused on meeting the needs of their new child. To many, these tasks include warming bottles and changing diapers. However, ensuring that the proper estate planning documents are in place is also an important part of ensuring that the needs of children are met.

An estate plan is made up of several different documents. These documents describe a person's wishes in regard to asset division and health care decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated or passes away. Perhaps most importantly for parents, an estate plan names a guardian for dependent children as well as a person to manage an estate in order to provide for said children.

A trust can ensure the well-being of Texas pets

Many households in Texas have pets. In many cases, pet owners consider their pets to be actual members of the family. As such, they deserve equal consideration during the estate planning process. The attorneys at Hayes & Wilson, PLLC, can help pet owners create a pet trust that will help ensure that a pet is cared for even when owners are unable to provide care due to death or incapacitation.

If additional planning is not undertaken, pets are considered property that is part of an estate. As such, their fates will be determined by state law, perhaps even resulting in the separation of pets who have spent their lives together. Unfortunately, without proper planning the future of beloved pets could be uncertain.

Care planning involves considering incapacitation

The creation of wills and trusts is an extremely important process that helps ease the stress experienced by family members in Texas following the loss of a loved one. However, these tools are not the only part of estate planning. Many people also go through care planning, which includes naming a person to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated.

An important tool for this sort of planning is a power of attorney. This allows someone else to make financial decisions for the person should he or she become unable to do so. There are several options when it comes to the creation of such a power. For example, some people may choose to have the power of attorney go into effect immediately. In this scenario, the document granting these powers would be stored in a safe place where the person named as an agent can access it in the event of an emergency.

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