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Estate Administration Archives

Not having a will can create elevated charges against an estate

It is generally assumed that most people prepare wills during life for the efficient handling of their assets after death. The truth, however, is that over half of all Americans, including many in Texas, do not have wills. The situation of deceased pop star Prince is the most dramatic example recently of how the lack of a will can create havoc and elevated monetary expenses for a decedent's estate.

With planning, an estate may be exempt from the probate process

Probate takes place after the individual is deceased. It entails a situation where the decedent had sufficient assets in his or her name to qualify for the necessity of court administration of those assets pursuant to law. In Texas and other states, probate involves the appointment of a representative to administer the estate on behalf of the decedent. This can be the person appointed in a will or it may be a person who applies to the court where there is no will.

Serving as Executor of a decedent's estate is a demanding job

Serving as the executor of a decedent's estate in Texas and elsewhere is an important responsibility that requires serious commitment to the duties that must be performed by law. If the estate is not administered properly as required, there is potential liability against the executor. An executor must use sound judgment and must be committed to following the letter of the law.

Estate administration requires a step-by-step legal procedure

It is always difficult after losing a beloved family member to focus on administering the loved one's estate. Assuming that the decedent has died leaving assets in his or her name, then those assets will have to be administered through a process known as estate administration. In the ideal case in Texas and elsewhere, the decedent will have left an updated will specifying the disposition of his or her assets after death.

Estate planning needed for the elderly single woman

The divorce rate for first marriages is hovering at almost 50 percent and that for second and third marriages even higher. Also considering that some women stay single by choice, some experts recommend that women should think in terms of estate planning and elder planning needs as though they will someday be single. The monetary funding of one's future needs in Texas and elsewhere is often the first and foremost challenge of the planning process.

Estate administration may be required where there are assets

If a person dies with assets, Texas law generally requires the filing of an estate proceeding. An estate may be administered pursuant to the specifications in the decedent's will or, if there is no will, pursuant to the dictates of state law. If an executor or other personal representative is appointed in the decedent's will, that person will act to carry out the directions in the will, within the confines of state law.

Estate administration usually follows the dictates of a will

When a person dies in Texas, his or her will provides for appointment of an executor to handle the estate's administration. If there was no will, the statutory law of Texas designates persons who may qualify as an administrator of the estate. An executor or administrator will have to take certain steps and perform certain duties to properly administer the estate. Both executors and administrators may be generically referred to as the personal representative of the estate.

Term insurance is a useful tool that can avoid probate expenses

In Texas and all other states, term life insurance can serve a number of uses for estate-planning purposes. Life insurance generally does not go through probate but passes directly to the named beneficiary. In the event that there is no named beneficiary, the proceeds will go to the estate by default and the funds will be subject to probate. In that instance, the life insurance proceeds will be counted as part of the gross estate of the decedent.

Personal representative must access decedent's digital assets

In Texas and all other states, the extensive use of online services by the average person has led to a need for the estate of a deceased person to be able to access that person’s online digital assets. That need has given birth to organizations concerned with addressing the issue. Just recently, a lawyers’ commission completed and introduced the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. When a person dies and probate is forthcoming, the passage of this or similar legislation will provide a framework to guide the estate’s personal representative with respect to the decedent’s digital assets.

Same-sex estate planning in Texas

Whether a person is single or married, an estate plan is an important tool to ensure that wishes are carried out after death. Understandably, many Texas couples choose to have their spouses listed in their estate. Same-sex couples, however, may have complications when it comes to creating their estate plans.

Our Office Locations

The Livens Law Firm
2516 Harwood Road
Bedford (Fort Worth), TX 76021
Phone: 817-545-3425
Toll Free: 800-569-2663
Fax: 817-545-9847
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Austin Office
3 Lakeway Centre Court
Suite 120
Austin, TX 78734
Phone: 800-569-2663
Fax: 888-545-9847
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Addison Office
14135 Midway Rd.
Suite G-250
Addison, TX 75001
Phone: 972-685-5202
Fax: 972-685-5206
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